This Week in PLOS

In PLOS One, researchers from Estonia, the US, and Canada describe placental gene expression profiles that seem to be associated with complications such as preeclampsia or gestational diabetes during pregnancy. Using array-based approaches to look at the levels of around 47,000 transcripts in placental tissue from early or mid-gestation, the team tracked down more than genes showing transcriptional shifts at mid-gestation.

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

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

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.