Febit is getting closer to settling a two-year-old legal dispute with Codon Devices over a patent that covers the manufacture of synthetic genes, and has decided to reevaluate its position in the competitive global synthetic-biology market.

"We don't want to be part of a commodity market with a lot of close competition," said Peer Stähler, Febit's chief scientific officer. "There are at least 20 companies worldwide that are competing to sell the cheapest genes."

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Technology Review reports that researchers in the US have used CRISPR to modify a number of human embryos.

Plant researchers plan to sequence some 10,000 samples that represent the major plant clades, ScienceInsider reports.

By introducing genes from butterfly peas and Canterbury bells, researchers in Japan have developed a blue chrysanthemum, according to NPR.

In Nature this week: a Danish reference genome, and more.