Genomic investigations of outbreaks were not first on the minds of the University of Münster's Dag Harmsen and his colleagues when they got their hands on a next-generation sequencer, but nature made its own plans.

In July, working with investigators at Life Technologies and elsewhere, the Münster team determined the strain responsible for the E. coli outbreak that began in northern Germany in May. Fueled by competition with investigators at BGI-Shenzhen, the German team worked to characterize the outbreak strain EHEC O104:H4 and make the data public.

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Helix customers can purchase apps that interpret different aspects of their genome, Technology Review reports.

The New York Times reports that a number of companies and research institutes are pursuing gene therapies.

Salmon with shorter telomeres survive to make the trip back to their river homes, New Scientist reports.

In PLOS this week: vaginal microbiome composition, population patterns of Chagas-carrying Rhodnius ecuadoriensis, and more.