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Crime-Fighting Synthetic DNA

On their way out of a shop or restaurant, thieves in Rotterdam may be sprayed with a fine mist that marks them with synthetic DNA as suspects, reports the New York Times. The mist is employee-activated and not only showers the suspects with store-specific synthetic DNA, but also alerts the authorities to the robbery-in-progress. Rotterdam police say that they haven't arrested anyone based on this security system, but they think it acts as a deterrent, as the stores have signs warning would-be robbers that they'd be marked and because many people don't understand DNA. "No one really knows what it is," says Donald van der Laan, whose company sells the system. "No one really knows how it works."

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.