This Week in Nature

In Nature this week, two National Institutes of Health officials discuss the agency’s agreement with the family of Henrietta Lacks, who unwittingly became the source for the HeLa cell line, to gain access to the cells’ genomic data. Sequence data will be placed in a controlled-access database, and researchers will be required apply to the NIH to use it in a specific study. They must also agree to terms of use defined by a panel, which will include members of the Lacks family.

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In Nature this week: omic analysis of permafrost microbes, hookworm genome, and more.

Biologists turn to environmental DNA sampling to determine whether elusive or invasive species are shedding DNA in a given area.

Rob Knight writes at Scientific American that microbiome studies are about to break out of the laboratory.

Harold Varmus, the director of the National Cancer Institute, has announced that he is stepping down after nearly five years.