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Invitrogen has hired Mahendra Rao as vice president, research, stem cells and regenerative medicine. Rao most recently served as section chief for stem cells and senior investigator in the laboratory of neuroscience for the National Institute on Aging, a division of the National Institutes of Health. (see Q&A in this week's issue for more on Invitrogen's stem cell business)

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 Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who chairs the Senate health committee, will be retiring at the end of his term, Stat News reports.

UCSF researchers find that having two X chromosomes may contribute to women's longer lifespans, according to Discover's D-brief blog.

The Wall Street Journal reports on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's use of genetic approaches to study foodborne illnesses.

In PNAS this week: immune cell profiling of wild baboons by social status, metabolomics profiling of esophageal tumors, and more.