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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An opinion piece in the Guardian argues that President Donald Trump is uninterested in science and that might not be a bad thing for the field.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports the Veterans Affairs Health System is studying whether genetic testing can help prescribe better depression therapies.

Stat News reports that Spark Therapeutics' Luxturna is now being used to treat a wider array of patients.

In Genome Biology this week: transcription factor among brittle stars, single-cell RNA sequencing strategy, and more.