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Molecular geneticists at Emory University have published a study in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases on the possible origins of the substrain of syphilis responsible for the first recorded epidemic in Europe, reports the New York Times. Comparing 21 genetic regions in 26 geographically distinct strains, they concluded that the strains causing venereal disease were most closely related to the non-venereal streains from South America.

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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.