NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Extrachromosomal circular DNA (eccDNA) elements are common in healthy human tissue, and some are even large enough to house one or more complete genes that could be expressed, a new analysis has found.

While the human genome is typically organized into stable chromosomes, tumor cells have been known to accumulate eccDNA. But researchers led by the University of Copenhagen's Birgitte Regenberg suspected that such circular DNA might also accumulate in normal cells, especially as deleted and damaged DNA are marked for destruction.

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 Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who chairs the Senate health committee, will be retiring at the end of his term, Stat News reports.

UCSF researchers find that having two X chromosomes may contribute to women's longer lifespans, according to Discover's D-brief blog.

The Wall Street Journal reports on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's use of genetic approaches to study foodborne illnesses.

In PNAS this week: immune cell profiling of wild baboons by social status, metabolomics profiling of esophageal tumors, and more.

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