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Goodbye, Google Labs

Google recently announced that it will terminate its Google Labs project — a Web site where the public could test early-stage projects for possible development, says Technology Review's Kristina Bjoran. Some of Google's most successful features, like Google Maps and Gmail, have come out of Google Labs. On the other hand, Bjoran says, the recently terminated Google Health was also a Labs project. Most of the 56 projects "left hanging" on Google Labs will likely fade away, she adds, though some few interesting ideas may be developed.

Of the more interesting projects are Google Body — which gives users 3-D access to the human form and allows them to peel away anatomical layer by anatomical layer and zoom into specific body parts and organs — and Google Public Data Explorer — which allows users to work with and manipulate large data sets and visualize the information with charts, graphs, and with other means, Bjoran says.

The Scan

Wolf Howl Responses Offer Look at Vocal Behavior-Related Selection in Dogs

In dozens of domestic dogs listening to wolf vocalizations, researchers in Communication Biology see responses varying with age, sex, reproductive status, and a breed's evolutionary distance from wolves.

Facial Imaging-Based Genetic Diagnoses Appears to Get Boost With Three-Dimensional Approach

With data for more than 1,900 individuals affected by a range of genetic conditions, researchers compared facial phenotype-based diagnoses informed by 2D or 3D images in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

Survey Suggests Multigene Cancer Panel VUS Reporting May Vary Across Genetic Counselors

Investigators surveyed dozens of genetic counselors working in clinical or laboratory settings, uncovering attitudes around VUS reporting after multigene cancer panel testing in the Journal of Genetic Counseling.

Study Points to Tuberculosis Protection by Gaucher Disease Mutation

A mutation linked to Gaucher disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish population appears to boost Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistance in a zebrafish model of the lysosomal storage condition, a new PNAS study finds.