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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The Washington Post reports on a Federal Bureau of Investigation plan to place rapid DNA analyzers at booking stations around the country.

In an editorial, officials from scientific societies in the US and China call for the international community to develop criteria and standards for human germline editing.

The US National Institutes of Health is to review studies that have received private support for conflicts of interest, according to the New York Times.

In Science this week: the PsychENCODE Consortium reports on the molecular mechanisms of neuropsychiatric disorders, and more.