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Huntington Willard

The Marine Biological Laboratory has appointed Huntington Willard as its next president and director. Willard is currently the Arts & Sciences professor of biology and genome sciences at Duke University and will take on his role at MBL on Jan. 1, 2015. He was the founding director of the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy. Before that, he chaired the genetics department at Case Western Reserve University. Robert Zimmer is the current president of MBL and chairman of its board of trustees.

The Scan

Machine Learning Helps ID Molecular Mechanisms of Pancreatic Islet Beta Cell Subtypes in Type 2 Diabetes

The approach helps overcome limitations of previous studies that had investigated the molecular mechanisms of pancreatic islet beta cells, the authors write in their Nature Genetics paper.

Culture-Based Methods, Shotgun Sequencing Reveal Transmission of Bifidobacterium Strains From Mothers to Infants

In a Nature Communications study, culture-based approaches along with shotgun sequencing give a better picture of the microbial strains transmitted from mothers to infants.

Microbial Communities Can Help Trees Adapt to Changing Climates

Tree seedlings that were inoculated with microbes from dry, warm, or cold sites could better survive drought, heat, and cold stress, according to a study in Science.

A Combination of Genetics and Environment Causes Cleft Lip

In a study published in Nature Communications, researchers investigate what combination of genetic and environmental factors come into play to cause cleft lip/palate.