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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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A new blood test might be able to detect the presence of some 50 cancers, according to New Scientist.

Undark looks into how coronavirus-related shutdowns are affecting field researchers.

In PNAS this week: strategies to design DNA oligonucleotide probes for bacteria, Vibrio cholerae evolution in Haiti, and more.

NPR reports that graduate students in the US are helping with SARS-CoV-2 testing.