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NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Susan Shurin will begin serving as acting director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute effective Dec. 1, according to a letter sent to the institute's staff by NIH Director Francis Collins last week. Shurin has been deputy director of NHLBI since February 2006, and is taking over for Elizabeth Nabel, who is leaving the institute to become president of Brigham and Women's/Faulkner Hospitals in Boston.

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Two researchers have found that behavioral genetic defenses in criminal cases don't tend to affect outcomes, according to Popular Science.

Researchers report that while host genetics influence the oral microbiome, they don't appear to affect cavity-causing microbes, the Economist says.

Pandas' gut microbiomes change as what they eat changes with the seasons, writes Discover's Inkfish blog.

In PLOS this week: comparative genomic study of malaria-linked macaque parasite, search for apple root reference genes, and more.