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This Week in Science: Dec 18, 2009

With the end of the year nigh, Science takes a look back at how its predictions for 2009 fared. It did OK saying that plant genomics was going to take off — cucumber, sorghum, maize, cassava and oil palm. For next year, Science says to keep an eye on iPS cells, exome sequencing, among other areas.

A news story looks deeper into the circumstances surrounding retractions of Science and the Journal of the American Chemical Society papers describing work out of Peter Schultz's lab. Though the retractions were short, saying that the work couldn't be duplicated and some original labs notes were lost, this story says it was a much darker affair that included extortion and suicide threats. "There was somebody who did this, really turned lives upside down, and made doing science a lot harder than it had to be," says Scripps president Richard Lerner.

Rob Knight and his colleagues report on the microbiome of healthy adults, as sampled over time. They took samples from the unrelated volunteers of both sexes from their gut, mouth, ear, nose, hair, and 18 skin sites. They then studied the variable region 2 of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene to classify the bacteria present. They found bacteria from 22 different phyla, though four phyla were most common: Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes.