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Play It Safe

The way grants are doled out leads researchers to play it safe -- and that's why there has been little progress in the "war on cancer," writes Gina Kolata in the New York Times. Incremental research is chosen by reviewers because "with too little money to finance most proposals, they are timid about taking chances on ones that might not succeed," Kolata writes.

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Bloomberg reports that the DNA-for-cash deal reported in Kentucky might be a more widespread scam.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have treated infants with X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency using gene therapy in an early phase study.

St. Louis Public Radio reports that some African Americans are turning to DNA ancestry testing to help guide genealogical searches.

In Nature this week: a genomic analysis of the snailfish Pseudoliparis swirei, ancient DNA analysis gives insight into the introduction of farming to England, and more.