Alan Alda appeared on The Colbert Report to talk to Stephen Colbert about his interest in science. Alda discussed the World Science Festival, which is being held in New York through the end of this week. "[Science] is so interesting, and basic science is so important," Alda said. "A hundred years ago, when they were just figuring out what was inside the atom, that wasn't really clearly understood by many people. They said only four people could understand relativity. And now, that runs our economy."

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

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

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

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