A team of researchers in Germany that is sequencing the Neandertal genome using 454’s technology has improved sample prep methods and data analysis, thus increasing the reliability of the results.
 
The improvements, which address the researchers’ ability to detect damage-related sequence errors and to prevent and detect contamination with modern human DNA, give the scientists confidence that “it will be technically feasible to achieve a reliable Neandertal genome sequence,” according to a recent publication.

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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.