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evolutionary biology

Dramatic genetic diversity in Mycobacterium leprae isolates from medieval Europe could point to a long history or potential origins on the continent.

Independent research teams identified and sequenced hepatitis B strains going back thousands of years from samples in Europe, uncovering now-extinct lineages.

In Science this week: new donkey genome assembly, visualization of the herpes simplex virus, and more.

Blue whale

By sequencing and comparing sequences from several baleen whale species, researchers saw uncovered sympatric whale speciation and evolutionary networks.

Sequencing has helped clarify the baleen whale family tree, though the researchers tell the New York Times it's more of a phylogenetic network.

In Science this week: protein destabilizing mutations can drive evolution, and more.

In Nature this week: sequenced genomes of five additional Neanderthals, and more.

The researchers estimated that the newly sequenced late Neanderthals likely split from the lineage leading to much older Altai Neanderthal roughly 150,000 years ago.

Solenodon

Using an atypical assembly strategy, researchers tackled the genome of Solenodon paradoxus, an endangered venomous, shrew-like animal from Hispaniola.

Using haplotype profiling, phylogenetics, and other analyses, researchers retraced sickle allele emergence to a single event occurring roughly 7,300 years ago.

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Florida Politics reports Florida's law barring life, long-term care, and disability insurers from using genetic information in coverage decisions went into effect at the beginning of July.

The Washington Post reports on researchers' efforts to determine the effect of an increasingly common SARS-CoV-2 mutation.

A new analysis finds a link between popular media coverage of a scientific study and how often that paper is cited.

In Nature this week: CRISPR approaches to editing plant genomes, way to speed up DNA-PAINT, and more.