By Doug Macron

The University of Massachusetts this week took steps to have an intellectual property-ownership lawsuit filed by the University of Utah dismissed on procedural grounds, arguing to a federal court that both institutions should be considered US states and therefore any litigation between them can only be heard by the US Supreme Court.

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In Nature this week: omic analysis of permafrost microbes, hookworm genome, and more.

Biologists turn to environmental DNA sampling to determine whether elusive or invasive species are shedding DNA in a given area.

Rob Knight writes at Scientific American that microbiome studies are about to break out of the laboratory.

Harold Varmus, the director of the National Cancer Institute, has announced that he is stepping down after nearly five years.