DNA of animal skins used as parchment for medieval manuscripts could reveal where the texts were made, reports Brandon Keim for the Wired Science blog. A team of two brothers, both academics, took skin samples from five pages of a 15th century French prayer book to find that the preserved mtDNA in the pages came from two closely related calves. The work is still in early stages and needs additional funding (tests run between $800 and $1000 per sample), but it’s likely a method that would take the guesswork out of pinpointing when and where manuscripts date from.

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A settlement is expected in a Duke University lawsuit hinging on using falsified data to win grants, Retraction Watch and Science report.

In PNAS this week: approach for analyzing the expression of endogenous retroviruses, circular RNAs that influence host-virus interactions, and more.

A phylogenetic analysis finds that the rare hemimastigotes form their own supra-kingdom, CBC reports.