Lior Pachter describes comparative sequence assembly with the simplest of analogies: “If you’re working on a jigsaw puzzle, you’re better off working by looking at the front cover of the box so you have a clue where the pieces should go.” Likewise, assembling the tiny fragments of a newly shotgunned genome is much simpler when you have the complete picture of a pre-assembled genome to serve as a guide.

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Robert Redfield is floated as the next director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Washington Post reports.

The New York Times writes that the National Institutes of Health's All of Us Research Program is "ambitious" and that some are concerned it might be overly so.

Representative Lamar Smith's criticism of the National Science Foundation has "changed the nature of the conversation," according to ScienceInsider.

In PLOS this week: non-coding RNA function in yeast, transcriptomic profiles of malaria parasites, and more.