The human body is an ecosystem, Lita Proctor, director of the Human Microbiome Project at the US National Institutes of Health, tells Rob Stein from NPR's Morning Edition as he embarks on a tour of the human microbiome. While there are distinct habitats, Stein notes that the microbes living in each do communicate with one another and with host cells.

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Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen also contributed to brain research, NPR reports.

The New York Times reports on the shifting interpretations of what some genetic variants mean over time.

In Cell this week: investigation of metastatic tumor evolution, more than 16,000 genetic variants introduced into the budding yeast model organism, and more.

MIT's Technology Review reports on Genentech's pursuit of personalized cancer vaccines.