China executed the former head of the State Food and Drug Administration, Zheng Xiaoyu, according to news reports. Zheng had confessed to approving untested medicines in exchange for bribes. Yan Jiangying, the deputy policy director of food and drug agency, said, "Corruption in the food and drug authority has brought shame to the nation. What we will have to learn from the experience is to improve our work and emphasize public safety."

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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.