Palo Alto Research Center of Palo Alto, Calif., has received US Patent No. 8,241,509, "Capillary-channel probes for liquid pickup, transportation and dispense using stressy metal." The patent describes fluidic conduits that can be used in microarraying systems, dip pen nanolithography systems, fluidic circuits, and microfluidic systems. These conduits rely on channel spring probes that include at least one capillary channel and are formed from spring beams that curve away from the substrate when released.

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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.