A Question of Scale

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This will come as a shock to absolutely nobody, but I'm going to say it anyway: there's nothing straightforward about intellectual property issues. A recent can of worms came in the form of a presentation at a National Academy of Science committee attempting to get to the bottom of gene and protein patents and what kind of impact they have on medicine and research. Debra Leonard, vice chair of laboratory medicine in the department of pathology and laboratory medicine at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, gave a compelling presentation against the current status of gene patents.

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The UK's Nuffield Council on Bioethics says genetically modifying human embryos could be morally permissible, according to the Guardian.

A new Nature Biotechnology paper reports that CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing can lead to large deletions or complex rearrangements that could be pathogenic.

The Wall Street Journal likens a prototype developed by Synthetic Genomics to a "biological fax machine."

In PNAS this week: strategy for reactivating Rett syndrome-linked MECP2, small molecules able to suppress Staphylococcus aureus virulence, and more.