NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The US House of Representatives this week passed the Food and Drug Administration Reform Act, which would reauthorize the Medical Device User Fee Act and implement a number of medical device regulatory reforms, with strong bipartisan support.

The House passed the bill on a vote of 387 to 5, and followed swiftly after the Senate passed its own version of the act last week with overwhelming support.

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In Nature this week: omic analysis of permafrost microbes, hookworm genome, and more.

Biologists turn to environmental DNA sampling to determine whether elusive or invasive species are shedding DNA in a given area.

Rob Knight writes at Scientific American that microbiome studies are about to break out of the laboratory.

Harold Varmus, the director of the National Cancer Institute, has announced that he is stepping down after nearly five years.