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Commutability is critical for a reference material for use in analytical validation for highly sensitive circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) assays using next generation sequencing (NGS). ctDNA analogues that rely on traditional shearing methods via focused sonication alone result in material that amplifies poorly in library preparation. Low library preparation yields are mostly likely due to a broad range of DNA fragments and damaged DNA ends, which prevent proper library formation.

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The Economist reports that it is increasingly easier to analyze the metabolites people give off, potentially revealing personal information about them.

A controversial paper on the gender gap in science has been corrected, according to BuzzFeed News.

The Los Angeles Times reports that only a third of California students meet the state's new science standards.

In Science this week: evidence of interbreeding between the ancestors of West Africans and an unknown archaic human, and more.