Earlier this year, researchers published a paper in Molecular Ecology saying that the biodiversity of an area could be determined by closely studying the DNA derived from skin cells, scales, or waste found in soil samples. Now, says Scientific American's Sophie Bushwick, another team of researchers has published a paper in Molecular Ecology with a similar bent.

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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.