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Slippery Salamanders

The threatened California tiger salamander can be difficult to find, and researchers have turned to using sequencing and geographical mapping to locate their habitats, reports Scientific American's Katherine Harmon. Brad Shaffer from the University of California, Davis, and his colleagues collected salamander DNA from the temporary pools the salamanders use as breeding grounds, and found that about 10 to 20 percent of larvae had parents from a different pool. And so, Shaffer's team used geographic information system data, combined with the genetic information, to determine where the salamanders came from. "Their findings surprised Shaffer — grasslands didn't end up being the most popular place for the salamanders," Harmon writes. "Instead, the chaparral proved to be the best habitat for the species, being about twice as appealing as the grassland."

The Scan

Not Yet a Permanent One

NPR says the lack of a permanent Food and Drug Administration commissioner has "flummoxed" public health officials.

Unfair Targeting

Technology Review writes that a new report says the US has been unfairly targeting Chinese and Chinese-American individuals in economic espionage cases.

Limited Rapid Testing

The New York Times wonders why rapid tests for COVID-19 are not widely available in the US.

Genome Research Papers on IPAFinder, Structural Variant Expression Effects, Single-Cell RNA-Seq Markers

In Genome Research this week: IPAFinder method to detect intronic polyadenylation, influence of structural variants on gene expression, and more.