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In a pair of articles, researchers from Trinity College Dublin and the University of Pittsburgh examined how often de novo genes crop up and how important they are when they do. In their article appearing in eLife this week, the researchers used conserved synteny to examine the portion of orphan genes — genes that don't look like any other genes — that can be attributed to complete divergence, finding that it accounts for about a third of eukaryotic orphan genes.

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Researchers have developed a robotic lab assistant, the Verge reports.

CBC News reports Canada's Supreme Court is to rule on the constitutionality of the country's genetic non-discrimination law today.

The Associated Press reports the World Health Organization is sending experts to China to investigate the animal source of SARS-CoV-2.

In Science this week: atlas of affected cell populations in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and more.