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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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The American Prospect writes that the pilot program to test the DNA of migrants could lead to more family separations.

An international commission is to develop a report on how researchers, clinicians, and regulators should evaluate the clinical applications of human germline genome editing.

The US Department of Agriculture presents a new blueprint for animal genomic research.

In Genome Research this week: repetitive element deletion linked to altered methylation and more in form of muscular dystrophy; human contamination in draft bacterial and archaeal genomes; and more.