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The New York Times' Nicholas Wade likens NIH's funding of basic research to the management of a stock index fund — "they buy everything in the market, and the few spectacular winners make up for all the disasters." In fact, basic research is so risky, he adds, that only the government is interested in paying for it. "It is a venture that produces far fewer hits than misses," Wade says.

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Bloomberg reports that the DNA-for-cash deal reported in Kentucky might be a more widespread scam.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have treated infants with X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency using gene therapy in an early phase study.

St. Louis Public Radio reports that some African Americans are turning to DNA ancestry testing to help guide genealogical searches.

In Nature this week: a genomic analysis of the snailfish Pseudoliparis swirei, ancient DNA analysis gives insight into the introduction of farming to England, and more.