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Part Bird, Part Mammal ... Wait, Isn't This the Start of a Joke?

The New York Times reports on the genome sequence of the platypus -- which you probably already knew about, but we're partial to any publication that refers to the "freak-show charm" of one of the weirdest-looking critters on the planet (and we mean that in the nicest possible way). As NYT reports, the public responded to the announcement of the platypus genome last week "with considerably more enthusiasm than it had accorded similar bulletins about the sequencing of, say, the mustard plant, the mosquito or the wild chicken." Hey, don't feel bad, chicken -- maybe one day you, too, will acquire bizarre mammalian features.

 

The Scan

Mosquitos Genetically Modified to Prevent Malaria Spread

A gene drive approach could be used to render mosquitos unable to spread malaria, researchers report in Science Advances.

Gut Microbiomes Allow Bears to Grow to Similar Sizes Despite Differing Diets

Researchers in Scientific Reports find that the makeup of brown bears' gut microbiomes allows them to reach similar sizes even when feasting on different foods.

Finding Safe Harbor in the Human Genome

In Genome Biology, researchers present a new approach to identify genomic safe harbors where transgenes can be expressed without affecting host cell function.

New Data Point to Nuanced Relationship Between Major Depression, Bipolar Disorder

Lund University researchers in JAMA Psychiatry uncover overlapping genetic liabilities for major depression and bipolar disorder.