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Green Machines

Nearly 400 retired US military officials signed a letter to Congress asking lawmakers to reconsider plans to prevent the US Navy from conducting research on biofuels or buying alternative fuels that cost more than traditional fuels, reports The Guardian. The proposal was put forth by Congressional Republicans who say that biofuels are too expensive and research into them takes focus away from security needs.

The Navy has shown that it can power jet fighters with a mixture of half conventional fuel and half algae or cooking oil. However, the alternative fuel costs $15 a gallon while the conventional fuel costs $3.60 a gallon.

The retired military officials say that reducing the Department of Defense's, as well as civilians', reliance on fossil fuels is vital to national security. "The Department of Defense should be looking at the widest possible diversity of fuel sources," says John Warner, a former navy secretary and former chair of the Senate armed services committee (R-Va.), to The Guardian. "We should continue to allow the department to move ahead with its innovation."

The Scan

Study Tracks Responses in Patients Pursuing Polygenic Risk Score Profiling

Using interviews, researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics qualitatively assess individuals' motivations for, and experiences with, direct-to-consumer polygenic risk score testing.

EHR Quality Improvement Study Detects Demographic-Related Deficiencies in Cancer Family History Data

In a retrospective analysis in JAMA Network Open, researchers find that sex, ethnicity, language, and other features coincide with the quality of cancer family history information in a patient's record.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Linked to Gut Microbiome Community Structure Gradient in Meta-Analysis

Bringing together data from prior studies, researchers in Genome Biology track down microbial taxa and a population structure gradient with ties to ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease.

Ancient Greek Army Ancestry Highlights Mercenary Role in Historical Migrations

By profiling genomic patterns in 5th century samples from in and around Himera, researchers saw diverse ancestry in Greek army representatives in the region, as they report in PNAS.