In "The Disposable Academic," The Economist says that "doing a PhD is often a waste of time." While it acknowledges that graduate students complaining that their line of work is akin to "slave labor" is "nothing new," The Economist argues that "there seems to be genuine problems with the system," as there is "an oversupply of PhDs" few job openings for them. The Economist says critics have even gone so far as to compare graduate programs to Ponzi schemes.

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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.