While fourth- and eighth-graders in the US have performed better in the sciences on a national assessment than in the past, only about a third had a strong showing, the Associated Press reports. Further, only one in five high-school seniors obtained a 'proficient' or higher score, it adds.

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Researchers report that deleting one gene from butterflies affects their wing coloration patterns, according to the Washington Post.

The Seattle Times writes that pharmacogenomics testing can help choose medications that may work best for people with depression.

In PNAS this week: genome sequencing of weevil symbionts, retinoid X receptor deletion in lung cancer metastasis, and more.

Sequencing could help combat foodborne illnesses, according to a blog post by Food and Drug Administration officials.