Writing in The Scientist, the University of Florida's Fred Southwick says that academic researchers "are encouraged to maintain the status quo and not 'rock the boat,'" and that "this mentality is pervasive, affecting all aspects of scientific research from idea generation to funding to the training of the next generation of scientists." All this, he adds, has led to a general suppression of creativity in academic research labs.

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Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has released the results of a genetic ancestry analysis, the Boston Globe reports.

Retraction Watch's Ivan Oransky and Adam Marcus report that Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital have recommended that more than 30 papers from a former researcher be retracted.

Thomas Steitz, who won the 2009 chemistry Nobel Prize for his ribosome work, has died, the Washington Post reports.

In PLOS this week: mechanisms for genes implicated in coronary artery disease, rumen microbes and host genetics influence cow methane production, and more.