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A Nice Waltz?

It can be difficult to explain your PhD work in words, but what about in dance? The winners of Science magazine and AAAS' sixth annual Dance Your PhD contest certainly get their points across.

The top prize goes to Cedric Tan, a biologist at the University of Oxford who used "a range of styles, from swing and water ballet — yes, in actual water — to modern jazz and what can only be described as cockfighting," ScienceNow says, to describe his thesis, titled "Sperm competition between brothers and female choice."

Other category winners found creative ways to express peptide interactions metal fatigue, and the role of MYCN in neuroblastomas. That last one, also below, snagged the reader's choice award for its salsa-inspired interpretation.

The Scan

Machine Learning Helps ID Molecular Mechanisms of Pancreatic Islet Beta Cell Subtypes in Type 2 Diabetes

The approach helps overcome limitations of previous studies that had investigated the molecular mechanisms of pancreatic islet beta cells, the authors write in their Nature Genetics paper.

Culture-Based Methods, Shotgun Sequencing Reveal Transmission of Bifidobacterium Strains From Mothers to Infants

In a Nature Communications study, culture-based approaches along with shotgun sequencing give a better picture of the microbial strains transmitted from mothers to infants.

Microbial Communities Can Help Trees Adapt to Changing Climates

Tree seedlings that were inoculated with microbes from dry, warm, or cold sites could better survive drought, heat, and cold stress, according to a study in Science.

A Combination of Genetics and Environment Causes Cleft Lip

In a study published in Nature Communications, researchers investigate what combination of genetic and environmental factors come into play to cause cleft lip/palate.