XMRV

A study published this week provides the most definitive evidence to date disproving previous reports that used molecular testing methods such as qPCR to establish a link between chronic fatigue syndrome, or myalgic encephalomyelitis, and various murine leukemia viruses.

NAME: John Hackett, Jr.
POSITION: Volwiler research fellow and manager, emerging pathogens and virus discovery, Abbott Diagnostics

Two recently published studies suggest that laboratory contamination was the likely cause of previous evidence linking murine viruses to CFS, highlighting the fact that researchers conducting PCR experiments should be extremely cautious about both inherently contaminated commercial reagents and contamination from laboratory manipulation.

Chinese state news agency Xinhua reports that a preliminary investigation has found He Jiankui performed his gene-editing work illegally.

John Mendelsohn, a former president of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, has died, the New York Times reports.

Identical twins receive different estimates of ancestry from the same direct-to-consumer genetic testing firms, CBC reports.

In PNAS this week: chromosomal features of maize, adaptations in the vinous-throated parrotbill, and more.