On his blog, Mike the Mad Biologist tries to figure out why some scientists do not use positive and negative controls in their experiments. He points to a 2004 study that found 91.3 percent of Streptococcus pneumoniae had a TEM-1 beta-lactamase resistance gene, but was run without adequate negative controls.

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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.