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D-I-Y

The New York Times magazine this past weekend looked into the burgeoning world of do-it-yourself synthetic biology. The article follows a team of students from San Francisco's City College that entered the International Genetically Engineered Machine competition at MIT. The students embarked on building a battery powered by bacteria. To do so, they had to engineer the bacteria so that it would release some of the sugar it makes to fuel the battery and they ran into plenty of obstacles along the way. While they didn't win the competition, “the fact that a community college can participate,” Drew Endy notes in the article, “is a sign that we are succeeding.

The Scan

Transcriptomic, Epigenetic Study Appears to Explain Anti-Viral Effects of TB Vaccine

Researchers report in Science Advances on an interferon signature and long-term shifts in monocyte cell DNA methylation in Bacille Calmette-Guérin-vaccinated infant samples.

DNA Storage Method Taps Into Gene Editing Technology

With a dual-plasmid system informed by gene editing, researchers re-wrote DNA sequences in E. coli to store Charles Dickens prose over hundreds of generations, as they recount in Science Advances.

Researchers Model Microbiome Dynamics in Effort to Understand Chronic Human Conditions

Investigators demonstrate in PLOS Computational Biology a computational method for following microbiome dynamics in the absence of longitudinally collected samples.

New Study Highlights Role of Genetics in ADHD

Researchers report in Nature Genetics on differences in genetic architecture between ADHD affecting children versus ADHD that persists into adulthood or is diagnosed in adults.