Richard Grant at Confessions of a (Former) Lab Rat, discusses explaining to relatives and friends why it is he does what he does. He writes that while it's difficult for researchers to merely explain what it is that they do "intelligibly, to the questioner's satisfaction," but "I further suspect, in the biological sciences at least, the proportion who are able to answer the question 'why?' is much, much smaller."

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Helix customers can purchase apps that interpret different aspects of their genome, Technology Review reports.

The New York Times reports that a number of companies and research institutes are pursuing gene therapies.

Salmon with shorter telomeres survive to make the trip back to their river homes, New Scientist reports.

In PLOS this week: vaginal microbiome composition, population patterns of Chagas-carrying Rhodnius ecuadoriensis, and more.