It’s been postulated that the mechanism of RNAi developed in cells as a means to fight off viral invaders and transposable elements. Essentially, this makes it a kind of cellular immune system, according to the authors of a paper published in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. But this hypothesis, while reasonable, raises the question of how the RNAi system is able to deal with the equivalent of an autoimmune disorder, a system error where silencing is directed to a cell’s own genes.

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An artificial intelligence-based analysis suggests a third group of ancient hominins likely interbred with human ancestors, according to Popular Mechanics.

In Science this week: reduction in bee phylogenetic diversity, and more.

The New York Times Magazine looks into paleogenomics and how it is revising what's know about human history, but also possibly ignoring lessons learned by archaeologists.

The Economist reports on Synthorx's efforts to use expanded DNA bases they generated to develop a new cancer drug.

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