"Contamination of various sorts has plagued genome projects from the get-go," complains Keith Robison at Omics! Omics!. Doing some background searching, he found a lot of contamination in sequence data sets, including plasmids and vectors among eukaryotic sequences. He says a New Year's resolution for everyone should be to recheck sequencing pipelines. "The solution is to run filters -- search everything you do against vectors, E.coli and other common contaminants.

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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.