Start with the Sample


Model organisms can only take you so far. As cancer researchers know all too well, the heavy lifting has to be done with human cells — and that's one of the most serious challenges facing the field today. It has always been difficult for scientists to get their hands on enough samples for even small-scale research projects. And when there are samples to be had, it's anybody's guess whether they are of high enough quality to meet scientists' research standards. According to researchers in the field, access and quality are the two critical areas where current biobanks fall down.

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NPR reports that Turkish high school students will no longer study evolution.

Researchers report they sequenced and identified plant species in an "al fresco" laboratory.

An Australian team searches for genetic alterations linked to depression in hopes of developing personalized treatments, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

In PNAS this week: host contributors to typhoid fever risk, effects of obesity-related variants near TMEM18, and more.