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Still Evolving

Humans are continuing to evolve, but there's decreased pressure on intelligence, the Economist reports.

Researchers led by the University of Queensland's Peter Visscher sifted through UK Biobank data, which houses genetic and medical data on more than 500,000 people for evidence of linear and nonlinear natural selection. As they report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week, the researchers uncovered widespread, but weak, stabilizing and directional selection among this cohort.

In particular, the researchers found that, among men, higher weight was linked to increased reproductive success, while, among women, there was a weaker link between the two. For both men and women, though the effect was stronger among women, increased educational attainment and fluid intelligence score was linked to decreased reproductive success.

"We wanted to try to understand the evolutionary forces that are affecting contemporary human traits, including height and BMI," first author Jaleal Sanjak from the University of California, Irvine, tells Yahoo News UK.

The Scan

Comfort of Home

The Guardian reports that AstraZeneca is to run more clinical trials from people's homes with the aim of increasing participant diversity.

Keep Under Control

Genetic technologies are among the tools suggested to manage invasive species and feral animals in Australia, Newsweek says.

Just Make It

The New York Times writes that there is increased interest in applying gene synthesis to even more applications.

Nucleic Acids Research Papers on OncoDB, mBodyMap, Genomicus

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: database to analyze large cancer datasets, human body microbe database, and more.