On their own, many cryptic mutations may not amount to much, but together they can allow organisms to adapt quickly to new circumstances, says Ed Yong at Scientific American.

For example, he points to small, seemingly neutral mutations to neuraminidase in the influenza virus that, in conjunction with a H274Y mutation to that protein, allows the virus to evade the effects of Tamiflu.

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An Australian-led team has generated a draft genome assembly of the invasive cane toad in hopes it will help in population control, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The New York Times reports that the US Department of Defense has implemented about half the recommendations made to improve safe handling of dangerous agents.

In PLOS this week: approach for teasing out archaic introgression in human genomes, immune transcription features in HCV infection, and more.

Stat News reports that Maryland is promoting itself to the biotech industry with a mobile billboard.