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"Hopeful monsters" are the center of Olivia Judson's post at the New York Times' The Wild Side. Back in the 1930s, geneticist Richard Goldschmidt thought that sudden morphological changes could occur quickly due to mutations in an embryo, creating a so-called hopeful monster that might have an advantage over other creatures -- an idea that was derided at the time.

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Seven individuals have been named to the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, ScienceInsider reports.

Retraction Watch reports that a series of tweets led to expression of concern for a PLOS Genetics paper, a move the paper's authors disagree with.

Researchers have sequenced pumas from North and South America to enable better identification of inbreeding, Cosmos magazine reports.

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: ways to find cell death or proliferation signatures, Han Chinese population genome database, and more.