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New research suggests that placozoans, amoeba-like, multicelled organisms, are ancestors to sea sponges, thought to be the most ancient ancestor of all animals, says a blog post at Discover magazine. In work published this week, scientists performed molecular phylogenetic analysis of animals from 24 taxa, generating a new tree of life that placed placozoans, sponges, and jellyfish on one line and more complex animals on another.

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A bill passed by a US House of Representatives appropriations subcommittee would give scientific agencies including the National Science Foundation boosts in funding.

University of Idaho researchers model the scientific discovery process to examine the link between reproducibility and scientific truth.

Relocating USDA agencies outside of Washington, DC, may make them less effective, critics of the move tell NPR.

In PLOS this week: genes that help Borrelia burgdorferi survive in ticks, CiliaCarta collection of about 1,000 suspected cilia genes, and more.