Stanford University School of Medicine's Ben Barres and his colleagues identified a molecular on-switch that catalyzes the transformation of immature brain cells into myelin-producing oligodendrocytes. In a study to be published in today's Neuron, the scientists found that the microRNA molecule miR-219 is found at high levels only in oligodendrocytes and that it's necessary to induce these brain cells' precursors to mature.

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Rare gene mutations are guiding the search for drugs to manage chronic pain without opioids, according to CNBC.

The new Francis Crick Institute building can get too noisy for some researchers to concentrate, according to the Guardian.

CBS News reports that there are still many vacancies at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, but that it's uncertain whether they will be filled.

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: pipeline to analyze and visualize bacterial genomes, database of global set of human genomes, and more.