Yesterday the British biologist Robert Edwards, a pioneer of artificial fertilization, died following a long illness. Born on September 27, 1925, Edwards received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the development of in vitro fertilization in 2010.

Neanderthal Skeleton

A team of scientists led by Dr. Svante Pääbo of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, has announced the completion of the sequencing of the DNA of a Neanderthal taken from a toe bone discovered in 2010 in a Siberian cave.

Artist's cross-section of Lake Vostok, the largest known subglacial lake in Antarctica (Image Nicolle Rager-Fuller / US National Science Foundation)

In recent days, the announcement arrived that a group of Russian researchers had discovered in Lake Vostok, Antarctica, bacteria of unknown type. Subsequently, however, the head of the genetics laboratory of the Institute of Nuclear Physics in St. Petersburg where the bacteria were analyzed stated that the samples had been contaminated during the research.

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) gifted the Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign the supercomputer Ember. Originally funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), it will now be used to work in genomics and transcriptomics. It will be handled by the High-Performance Biological Computing (HPCBio) group, which runs the infrastructure for bioinformatics.

Alfred Russel Wallace in 1862

A few days ago the site Wallace Correspondence Project’s (WCP) was launched. It aims to collect in digital format the letters still existent written to and from the naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace. This project has been funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and is based at the Natural History Museum in London. This initiative follows Wallace Online, another website directed by John van Wyhe, assisted by Kees Rookmaaker at the National University of Singapore in collaboration with the Wallace Page by Charles H. Smith, which collects the naturalist’s books and articles.