Friends and Foes

The human body is teeming with microorganisms. "John Donne said 'no man is an island,' and Jefferson Airplane said 'He’s a peninsula,' but it now looks like he's actually a metropolis," writes Richard Conniff at Smithsonian magazine.

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The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is investing in Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory's BioRxiv.

A study appearing in PLOS One finds that shortened consent forms don't affect clinical trial participants' understanding of the study.

The National Security Agency monitored signal intelligence for signs of "nefarious" genetic engineering projects, Gizmodo reports.

In Nature this week: barley genome sequenced, method for genotyping and phasing short tandem repeats, and more.