Unmuzzled

During the nine-year Stephen Harper administration in Canada, government scientists there ran into roadblocks when trying to speak with the media, but these policies are now loosening, Nature News reports.

"It was an incredible rigmarole to try and get the most innocuous bit of information to media or the public," says Diane Lake, who was then a communications officer with Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

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Direct-to-consumer genetic testing companies have offered to test families separated at the southern US border, but that raises ethical issues.

The New York Times reports on a project to develop a tree DNA database to uncover illegal logging.

CNBC reports that confirming a positive result from 23andMe's BRCA health report can be expensive.

In PLOS this week: links between gut microbiome and colorectal cancer mutations, targeted sequencing uncovers genetic susceptibilities to epilepsy in Koreans, and more.