Human culture can be force for evolution, says this New York Times article. The prime example cited is lactose tolerance in adults of northern European and some of African descent — being able to consume that added source of nutrition, it is thought, allowed people with that ability to better survive and pass that gene on. Now, the article says, researchers are scanning through the human genome to find regions under selective pressure.

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Two researchers have found that behavioral genetic defenses in criminal cases don't tend to affect outcomes, according to Popular Science.

Researchers report that while host genetics influence the oral microbiome, they don't appear to affect cavity-causing microbes, the Economist says.

Pandas' gut microbiomes change as what they eat changes with the seasons, writes Discover's Inkfish blog.

In PLOS this week: comparative genomic study of malaria-linked macaque parasite, search for apple root reference genes, and more.