Lee Skallerup Bessette at Inside Higher Ed's College Ready Writing blog this week discusses an oft-forgotten facet of "the economic realities of getting a PhD" — conference season expenses. Attending conferences can be costly, especially for graduate students, many of whom are already pinching pennies.

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In Science this week: mtDNA analysis give glimpse into decline of Neanderthals in Europe, and more.

The University of Arizona's Raina Maier writes that an understanding of the Earth's microbiome is needed.

The proposed Canadian budget emphasizes partnerships with industry, Nature News reports.

An Australian study of personalized medicine has run into problems as it recruits patients.