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It's only admitted in whispers that most biologists have never read Charles Darwin's "On the Origin of Species," says Olivia Judson in a post at the New York Times. It's boring, they say. Judson admits that Darwin's writing was "patchy" -- at its best describing the natural world and "tortuous" when discussing genetics. "So, the difficulties notwithstanding, there are many reasons to tackle the 'Origin,'" she writes.

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The Hill reports President Donald Trump issued an executive directing federal agencies to cut the number of board and advisory committees they have.

The New York Times reports that researchers are combining tools to more quickly develop crops to feed a growing population and cope with shifting climates.

Scientists in Canada are looking to the UK's plan to sequence children with rare conditions for inspiration, the National Post reports.

In PNAS this week: copy number changes arose during polar bear evolution, genomic and transcriptomic analysis of the Siberian hamster, and more.