NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – As debate continues over the existence of RNAi in mammals, a new report out of Mount Sinai Hospital indicates that the gene-silencing mechanism is not part of the mammalian response to viruses, which instead is mediated exclusively by interferon (IFN) induction.

Although the findings shouldn't be viewed as absolute proof that RNAi does not exist in mammals, they do suggest that if it does, "it has no measurable effect on the physiological response to virus," according to Benjamin tenOever, senior author of the study.

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Two researchers have found that behavioral genetic defenses in criminal cases don't tend to affect outcomes, according to Popular Science.

Researchers report that while host genetics influence the oral microbiome, they don't appear to affect cavity-causing microbes, the Economist says.

Pandas' gut microbiomes change as what they eat changes with the seasons, writes Discover's Inkfish blog.

In PLOS this week: comparative genomic study of malaria-linked macaque parasite, search for apple root reference genes, and more.