Whether helping to build the GenBank database or crunching numbers as a computational biologist comparing fruit fly and human genes, Christian Burks has been looking at the big picture for a while. Burks helped establish and lead informatics pioneer Exelixis’s computational biology department in the late ’90s, and then went on to work as CSO of Affinium Pharmaceuticals in Toronto before founding a life sciences consultancy called Scienega. Today, he is CEO of the Ontario Genomics Institute, a Toronto-based nonprofit life sciences incubator.

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23andMe's Anne Wojcicki ponders DNA and what it means to be human in a New York Times essay.

A new estimate places the last universal common ancestor to life on Earth as living 3.9 billion years ago, Inverse reports.

In PNAS this week: retinitis pigmentosa gene therapy, role of microbiome in growth stunting, and more.

Bloomberg reports that researchers and drug companies are modeling anti-obesity treatments after the rare genetic condition essential fructosuria.