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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 trace DNA on a clay pipe found at a former slave site to a population that lives in what is now Sierra Leone, the Washington Post reports.

Two researchers report on their genetic analysis of samples from a shawl thought to belong to a victim of Jack the Ripper, ScienceInsider reports.

Japan is to release rules governing some gene-edited food, according to NHK World.

In PLOS this week: computational strategy for improving gene set analysis testing, miRNAs linked to sleep apnea, and more.