William Astbury worked with hairdressers to understand the molecular properties of hair that allowed for perms, and he took a crack at the structure of DNA, having taken X-ray pictures of it 15 years before James Watson and Francis Crick saw one. "He got pretty close, but there were aspects to the DNA puzzle which he could not have solved in 1938," says Bruce Turnbull at Leeds University in the Guardian.

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An Australian-led team has generated a draft genome assembly of the invasive cane toad in hopes it will help in population control, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The New York Times reports that the US Department of Defense has implemented about half the recommendations made to improve safe handling of dangerous agents.

In PLOS this week: approach for teasing out archaic introgression in human genomes, immune transcription features in HCV infection, and more.

Stat News reports that Maryland is promoting itself to the biotech industry with a mobile billboard.