The Scientist put Jonathon Rothberg, Amy Caudy, Neil Kelleher, and H. Steven Wiley (who serves on the magazine's editorial board) to the task of judging the 60 entries it received as part of its annual Top 10 Innovations competition, which highlights tools and techniques that "have the potential to simplify and streamline work in biology labs." The judges rated Pacific Biosciences' third-generation sequencer the most influential innovation of the year.

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Two researchers have found that behavioral genetic defenses in criminal cases don't tend to affect outcomes, according to Popular Science.

Researchers report that while host genetics influence the oral microbiome, they don't appear to affect cavity-causing microbes, the Economist says.

Pandas' gut microbiomes change as what they eat changes with the seasons, writes Discover's Inkfish blog.

In PLOS this week: comparative genomic study of malaria-linked macaque parasite, search for apple root reference genes, and more.