Mike the Mad Biologists say that while US student do poorly in math and science at the national level, some local areas do better than European or Asian countries. He particularly focuses on Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, and New Hampshire and says that what they have in common are low rates of poverty and divorce, as well as high incomes, an educated adult population, and good public health departments.

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The Washington Post reports that a meteorologist is being considered as presidential science and technology advisor.

360Dx reports that the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services would cover next-generation sequencing-based cancer panel tests.

In PNAS this week: precision medicine strategy to screen for disease risk, genome evolution in Haemophilus influenzae, and more.

Researchers have developed a PCR-based assay to gauge whether manatees are present in waters.