Researchers at the Nevada Cancer Institute in Las Vegas found that Sall4, a zinc-finger transcription factor that is expressed very early in embryonic development with Oct4 and Nanog, plays a diverse role in regulating stem cell pluripotency during early embryonic development. Using chIP-chip analysis to map genome-wide gene targets of Sall4 in mouse ES cells, they found that the protein bound 3,223 genes, many of which have major functions in developmental and regulatory pathways.

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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.