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The body's microbiota helps people and animals break down food, synthesize vitamins, and fight off nastier microbes, and Ed Yong at Not Exactly Rocket Science writes that killing off the microbiota through antibiotic use may be a factor in the rise of obesity. A new study in Nature from Martin Blaser's group at New York University School of Medicine find that giving

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Researchers describe a way to share data while keeping it secure, Agence France Presse reports.

In Science this week: genetic mutations typically associated with esophageal cancer are common in older, healthy individuals, and more.

India's Council of Scientific and Industrial Research has a new director-general, according to ScienceInsider.

A new study links more than a hundred genes to autism spectrum disorder, Discover's D-brief blog reports.