A pair of recent studies that examined the genomes of ancient people living in the Middle East suggests that farming arose more or less at the same time in different regions, Ars Technica reports.

"This so-called Neolithic Revolution transformed human culture, our genomes, and our ecosystems. But the origins of farming have remained a mystery," Ars Technica's Annalee Newitz writes.

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360Dx reports that the US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services would cover next-generation sequencing-based cancer panel tests.

The Washington Post reports that a meteorologist is being considered as presidential science and technology advisor.

In PNAS this week: precision medicine strategy to screen for disease risk, genome evolution in Haemophilus influenzae, and more.

Researchers have developed a PCR-based assay to gauge whether manatees are present in waters.