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This Week in Science: Feb 5, 2016

In this week's Science, experts in public health, genetics, and race discuss the use of race as a biological category, arguing that race is not a sufficient proxy for studying human genetic diversity and that commonly defined racial groups frequently represent a high degree of genetic admixture and lack well-defined genetic boundaries. They maintain that ancestry needs to be distinguished from "a taxonomic notion such as race," and call for the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to convene a panel of experts to recommend ways for "research into human biological diversity to move past the use of race as a tool for classification in both laboratory and clinical research."

And in Science Translational Medicine, a team of cancer researchers and drug-development scientists calls for the integration of cancer research in humans and domestic dogs, seeing value in comparative oncology for driving human cancer research. They cite the similarity between naturally occurring cancers in dogs and humans, as well as the similar level of care both receive including the use of experimental therapeutics. The authors also review a recent US National Academy of Medicine workshop on advancing comparative oncology as a translational discipline.