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Don't Worry, It Will Still Identify Bird Calls

Gone are the days when a cell phone could just be a cell phone -- and for MacGyver-minded scientists, that could be a very good thing. In this article, the New York Times reports on a project from UCLA's Aydogan Ozcan, who has figured out how to convert cell phones into microscopes using "about $10 worth of off-the-shelf hardware." The story adds, "The adapted phones may be used for screening in places far from hospitals, technicians or diagnostic laboratories."

Over at DIYbio, blogger Tito is all over this concept. In this post, he describes various attempts to turn his iPhone into a microscope after being inspired by the CellScope project out of UC Berkeley and the Hackteria project from iGEM. Tito notes that you won't get to your phone/microscope using just any random equipment. "Overall, I went through a lot of crummy ideas to get to some ok ones," he writes. "The next step is mobility."

The Scan

Guidelines for Ancient DNA Work

More than two dozen researchers have developed new ethical guidelines for conducting ancient DNA research, which they present in Nature.

And Cleared

A UK regulator has cleared former UK Prime Minister David Cameron in concerns he should have registered as a consultant-lobbyist for his work with Illumina, according to the Financial Times.

Suit Over Allegations

The Boston Globe reports that David Sabatini, who was placed on leave from MIT after allegations of sexual harassment, is suing his accuser, the Whitehead Institute, and the institute's director.

Nature Papers on Esophageal Cancer, Origin of Modern Horses, Exome Sequencing of UK Biobank Participants

In Nature this week: genetic and environmental influences of esophageal cancer, domestic horse origin traced to Western Eurasian steppes, and more.