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What do adult Quidditch games, a theme park at Universal Studios in Florida, countless knockoffs, and biomedical research have in common? They were all inspired by J.K. Rowling's phenomenally popular Harry Potter series, says the Hartford Courant's William Weir. For more than 10 years, researchers have used the Potter series as a starting point for studies on genetics, social cognition, and autism.

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A new Trump executive order about "free inquiry" on college campuses may threaten $35 billion-worth of federal research funding, reports Ars Technica.

As we enter conference season, Nature News asks why graduate students and postdocs are sometimes forced to choose between paying the rent and paying to attend important meetings.

A new analysis says that a 2018 study claiming to show biparental mtDNA inheritance has several flaws.

In PNAS this week: a genome sequence analysis of Crucihimalaya himalaica, multicellularity and fruiting body development in mushroom-forming fungi, and more.