Lamar Smith (R-Texas) is to be the new chair of the US House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, reports the Nature News Blog. Smith takes the spot over from Ralph Hall, also a Republican from Texas, who had to step down from leading the committee due to Republican term-limitation rules.

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A former Synthetic Genomics attorney alleges that the firm discriminated against her and other female employees, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Due to privacy and lab certification questions, the planned giveaway of Orig3n testing kits at a Baltimore Ravens game was suspended.

Alnylam reports positive results from its phase 3 clinical trial of an RNAi-based drug, according to Stat News.

In Cell this week: adult mesenchymal cell populations in mouse lung, genetic diversity in HPV16 and cancer risk protection, and more.