Blogger Chad Orzel has a post at Uncertain Principles on "N Skills Every Scientist Should Have." Apparently in response to various lists of essential life skills that Orzel found unsatisfactory, he began this scientist-specific list, which includes items such as "write a grant proposal" and "give a 'cocktail-party' explanation of their work in layman's terms." The comments section, where readers add their own ideas for the list, is an interesting read too.

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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.