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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 Hill reports President Donald Trump issued an executive directing federal agencies to cut the number of board and advisory committees they have.

The New York Times reports that researchers are combining tools to more quickly develop crops to feed a growing population and cope with shifting climates.

Scientists in Canada are looking to the UK's plan to sequence children with rare conditions for inspiration, the National Post reports.

In PNAS this week: copy number changes arose during polar bear evolution, genomic and transcriptomic analysis of the Siberian hamster, and more.