Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital have developed a microfluidics chip that captures rare cancer cells in numbers that are high enough to enable analysis for molecular markers, reports Technology Review's Emily Singer. The device could save patients the hassle and pain of tumor biopsies since a sufficient number of cells could be culled from the bloodstream, and doctors could pick better drugs for their patients by doing the molecular marker analysis, she adds.

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Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has released the results of a genetic ancestry analysis, the Boston Globe reports.

Retraction Watch's Ivan Oransky and Adam Marcus report that Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital have recommended that more than 30 papers from a former researcher be retracted.

Thomas Steitz, who won the 2009 chemistry Nobel Prize for his ribosome work, has died, the Washington Post reports.

In PLOS this week: mechanisms for genes implicated in coronary artery disease, rumen microbes and host genetics influence cow methane production, and more.