This Week in Nature

Dave Bartel's lab at MIT has checked in on the origins of small RNAs, finding miRNAs and piRNAs from animal phyla that diverged before the emergence of the Bilateria, including the starlet sea anemone and the sponge. The anemone has many miRNA genes, two classes of piRNAs, and a complement of proteins specific to small-RNA biology comparable to that of humans.

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Researchers have sequenced the northern white rhinoceros to gauge whether it could be brought back from the edge of extinction, the New York Times reports.

Bavaria expands its forensic genetic analyses to include DNA phenotyping, raising discrimination concerns.

Tufts University researchers found a role for miRNA in transmitting stress between generations, the Economist reports.

In Science this week: gut microbiome influences liver cancer growth, spread; and more.