On her blog, the FemaleScienceProfessor goes through the "Anatomy of a Ph.D. Defense." As a committee member she mainly probes the unpublished data to give feedback on it to the student but sometimes the meetings seem to be a waste of time, she says. Scroll all the way down her post -- the commenters add their own defense experiences.

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Researchers have treated an X-linked genetic disease affecting three babies in utero, Stat News reports.

The Associated Press reports that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is beefing up sequencing as a tool to investigate foodborne illnesses.

Researchers have sequenced samples from ancient toilets to study past eating habits and health, NPR reports.

In Nature this week: ash dieback disease fungal genome, and more.