In Genome Biology this week, a trio of researchers describes their computational approach to identify miRNAs from high-throughput sequencing data, miRTRAP. When applied to the chordate Ciona intestinalis, the team distinguished nearly 400 reported miRNA loci; previously, 80 had been identified and reported. Almost half of the genes identified produce non-conventional miRNA products, the authors write, including moRNAs and antisense miRNAs.

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 Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who chairs the Senate health committee, will be retiring at the end of his term, Stat News reports.

The Wall Street Journal reports on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's use of genetic approaches to study foodborne illnesses.

UCSF researchers find that having two X chromosomes may contribute to women's longer lifespans, according to Discover's D-brief blog.

In PNAS this week: immune cell profiling of wild baboons by social status, metabolomics profiling of esophageal tumors, and more.