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DIY Biologists Unite

Among the attendees of a DIY biology meeting in Seattle was Sandra Porter, who writes at her blog that the meeting focused on legal and safety concerns. The biggest legal problem, they think, would be to be sure that no one is making anything illegal -- and that the neighbors don't think it's a meth lab. As for safety, Porter says it varies depending on the organism being used and that yeast, though more difficult to work with, is probably the safest.

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The Hill reports President Donald Trump issued an executive directing federal agencies to cut the number of board and advisory committees they have.

The New York Times reports that researchers are combining tools to more quickly develop crops to feed a growing population and cope with shifting climates.

Scientists in Canada are looking to the UK's plan to sequence children with rare conditions for inspiration, the National Post reports.

In PNAS this week: copy number changes arose during polar bear evolution, genomic and transcriptomic analysis of the Siberian hamster, and more.