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Ban Ki-moon, the secretary general of the United Nations, told the Planet Under Pressure Conference in London that he is recommending that the UN have a chief scientific advisor or a scientific board, reports the Nature News Blog. The conference focused on sustainable global development. "Policy-makers often fail to turn to scientists for advice, or discount it too easily owing to electoral or other political considerations," he said.

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Researchers trace DNA on a clay pipe found at a former slave site to a population that lives in what is now Sierra Leone, the Washington Post reports.

Two researchers report on their genetic analysis of samples from a shawl thought to belong to a victim of Jack the Ripper, ScienceInsider reports.

Japan is to release rules governing some gene-edited food, according to NHK World.

In PLOS this week: computational strategy for improving gene set analysis testing, miRNAs linked to sleep apnea, and more.