NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – In Nature Genetics, a French- and German-led team described findings from an exome sequencing analysis of epileptic encephalopathy that turned up de novo mutations in a HCN1 — a gene coding for a cationic channel component suspected to have a role in epilepsy based on animal studies.

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In Nature this week: omic analysis of permafrost microbes, hookworm genome, and more.

Biologists turn to environmental DNA sampling to determine whether elusive or invasive species are shedding DNA in a given area.

Rob Knight writes at Scientific American that microbiome studies are about to break out of the laboratory.

Harold Varmus, the director of the National Cancer Institute, has announced that he is stepping down after nearly five years.