Science fiction blog io9 is hosting a Mad Science Contest for researchers to design their own lifeform. "Building new lifeforms is the science of the future and therefore you can never have too many garage laboratories and mad scientists devoted to it," writes Annalee Newitz at io9. The winners get an all-expenses-paid trip to Hong Kong for the Synthetic Biology Conference, or $1000, and a drawing of their lifeform.

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Customers might want to consider what they might learn about their risk of diseases like Alzheimer's before snagging the genetic testing kits that are on many gift guides this year, NJ.com writes.

The Wall Street Journal reports there is uncertainty surrounding whether He Jiankui's embryo editing did what he said it did.

Stat News reports that the pause on procuring fetal tissue for intramural US National Institutes of Health research will soon affect additional labs there.

In Nature this week: genomic analysis of the invasive fall webworm, amp of constrained coding regions within the human genome, and more.