The zebra finch reference genome and several companion papers are being published today in Nature and Genome Research. The zebra finch is a model for human vocal development and it is hoped that a better understanding of its genome and the genes involved in learning song can shed light on how humans learn language. These learnings may be helpful to researchers studying diseases that slow language development such as autism. Wes Warren of The Genome Center led the consortium to sequence the reference genome. Coverage of the publications can be found at the BBC, ABC, CBS, NPR/KWMU, The Independent, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, GenomeWeb, and WU Record (includes a video).