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Evolution in the City

For this New York Times article, Carl Zimmer tags along with some urban evolutionary biologists — researchers who seem to have some different experiences than other field researchers. "We get police called on us a lot," says Jason Munshi-South, an assistant professor at Baruch College. "Sometimes with guns drawn." His group is studying white-footed mice that live in different parts of New York City and has found that mouse populations from different parks are genetically distinct. In the Hudson River, New York University's Isaac Wirgin has noted that all the tomcod living there have the same mutation in their AHR2 genes, a mutation that protects the fish from PCB pollution in the water. Other researchers are working indoors in the city's hospitals — John Quale at SUNY Downstate Medical Center found a strain of carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniaein four Brooklyn hospitals. "New York, in other words, is an evolutionary experiment — one that some scientists find fascinating to observe," Zimmer writes.

The Scan

Study Links Evolution of Longevity, Social Organization in Mammals

With the help of comparative phylogenetics and transcriptomics, researchers in Nature Communications see ties between lifespan and social organization in mammals.

Tumor Microenvironment Immune Score Provides Immunotherapy Response, Prognostic Insights

Using multiple in situ analyses and RNA sequence data, researchers in eBioMedicine have developed a score associated with immunotherapy response or survival.

CRISPR-Based Method for Finding Cancer-Associated Exosomal MicroRNAs in Blood

A team from China presents in ACS Sensors a liposome-mediated membrane fusion strategy for detecting miRNAs carried in exosomes in the blood with a CRISPR-mediated reporter system.

Drug Response Variants May Be Distinct in Somatic, Germline Samples

Based on variants from across 21 drug response genes, researchers in The Pharmacogenomics Journal suspect that tumor-only DNA sequences may miss drug response clues found in the germline.