Amy Bishop — the University of Alabama biology professor accused of opening fire on her colleagues and killing three of them in 2010 — has entered a plea of not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect, reports the Nature News blog's Meredith Wadman. The trial is set to begin on March 19, 2012, and the prosecution is seeking the death penalty, she adds.

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The New York Times Magazine looks into paleogenomics and how it is revising what's know about human history, but also possibly ignoring lessons learned by archaeologists.

The Economist reports on Synthorx's efforts to use expanded DNA bases they generated to develop a new cancer drug.