This Week in Nature

In a paper published online in advance in Nature this week, a team led by investigators at the Washington University School of Medicine presents an evaluation of how gut microbiomes differ among human populations. Based on its characterization of bacterial species in fecal samples from 531 individuals — from the Amazonas of Venezuela, rural Malawi, and US metropolitan areas — as well as the gene content of 110 of those individuals, the team identified "shared features of the functional maturation of the gut microbiome ...

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23andMe's Anne Wojcicki ponders DNA and what it means to be human in a New York Times essay.

A new estimate places the last universal common ancestor to life on Earth as living 3.9 billion years ago, Inverse reports.

In PNAS this week: retinitis pigmentosa gene therapy, role of microbiome in growth stunting, and more.

Bloomberg reports that researchers and drug companies are modeling anti-obesity treatments after the rare genetic condition essential fructosuria.