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 partially reinstated US travel ban leaves space for uncertainty for researchers, Nature News says.

Researchers find a number of traits differ by sex and could affect mouse model studies, according to Reuters.

Tweaking the skin microbiome could help address some skin conditions, the New York Times reports.

In PNAS this week: DNA methylation profiles of tumor tissue, gene dynamics in prokaryotes, and more.