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Politics influenced FDA's approval of a device that assists in knee-replacement surgeries, reports the New York Times. Scientific reviewers at FDA concluded that the Menafelx device, made by ReGen Biologic, was unsafe and often failed. Managers overruled that decision after pressure from New Jersey (where the device is manufactured) politicians, Senators Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg and Representatives Frank Pallone Jr. and Steven Rothman, all Democrats, the Times says.

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Researchers trace DNA on a clay pipe found at a former slave site to a population that lives in what is now Sierra Leone, the Washington Post reports.

Two researchers report on their genetic analysis of samples from a shawl thought to belong to a victim of Jack the Ripper, ScienceInsider reports.

Japan is to release rules governing some gene-edited food, according to NHK World.

In PLOS this week: computational strategy for improving gene set analysis testing, miRNAs linked to sleep apnea, and more.