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The Sustainability of Biofuels

Christina Agapakis at Oscillator says that most synthetic biology labs generate a lot of non-sustainable waste. "In a busy day of experiments working towards making sustainable biological fuels I can generate huge amounts of plastic waste, and it's something I feel hypocritical and terrible for," she writes. Rather than constantly re-ordering disposable sample prep kits for each DNA extraction, researchers should consider cleaning tubes for repeat use up to 10 times, Agapakis suggests. "By simply soaking used columns in dilute (0.1-1M) hydrochloric acid for a while, then washing and rinsing them in distilled water a few times, the columns are clear of DNA that could interfere with future experiments and ready to be reused," she writes, adding that this technique can be applied to other common laboratory consumable, and is "just one really simple way to save money and drastically reduce plastic waste coming out of molecular biology labs."

The Scan

Study Finds Few FDA Post-Market Regulatory Actions Backed by Research, Public Assessments

A Yale University-led team examines in The BMJ safety signals from the US FDA Adverse Event Reporting System and whether they led to regulatory action.

Duke University Team Develops Programmable RNA Tool for Cell Editing

Researchers have developed an RNA-based editing tool that can target specific cells, as they describe in Nature.

Novel Gene Editing Approach for Treating Cystic Fibrosis

Researchers in Science Advances report on their development of a non-nuclease-based gene editing approach they hope to apply to treat cystic fibrosis.

Study Tracks Responses in Patients Pursuing Polygenic Risk Score Profiling

Using interviews, researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics qualitatively assess individuals' motivations for, and experiences with, direct-to-consumer polygenic risk score testing.