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BGI Shenzhen is "in an unlikely corner of China," and is an unlikely success, writes Lone Frank in Newsweek. Frank notes that founders Yang Huanming and Wang Jian were called "the crazy guys" by their Chinese colleagues. Now BGI Shenzhen has 128 Illumina HiSeq 2000s churning away, and 4,000 scientists and technicians work there — and the average age of the research staff is 26. In addition, the institute is expanding into the US, Europe, and Hong Kong.

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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.