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In the early, online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team from the UK, China, Denmark, Japan, and the US report on findings from a genome sequencing study of the sand rat, Psammomys obesus, a desert gerbil from North Africa and the Middle East that is prone to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and pancreatic failure in carbohydrate-rich environments.

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Gene editing could be an issue competitive sports need to address soon, four researchers from Arizona State University write at Slate.

A genetic alteration appears to increase heart failure risk among people of African descent, according to the Washington Post.

In his look back at the past decade, BuzzFeed News' Peter Aldhous writes that direct-to-consumer genetic testing has led to "Facebook for genes."

In Nature this week: genetic "clock" that can predict the lifespans of vertebrates, new assembler called wtdbg2, and more.