Patrick Schnable has been named director of Iowa State University's Plant Sciences Institute.

Schnable is currently a professor in ISU's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and received the inaugural chair in genetics in ISU's department of agronomy in 2013.

He also founded and directs the Center for Plant Genomics, a center within the Plant Sciences Institute (PSI) and served as the PSI's associate director 2005 to 2010.

Separately, Schnable is managing partner of Data2Bio, a next-generation sequencing services firm.

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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.