Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Venter's Double Whoops

Shortly after Craig Venter team's announced its creation of a self-replicating synthetic genome — in which famous quotes were encoded, including James Joyce's famed: "To live, to err, to fall, to triumph, to recreate life out of life," and Richard Feynman's utterance on understanding — Venter received a cease and desist letter and a surprising photograph. Forbes' David Ewalt says during a presentation this week at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, "Venter talked about two ways the landmark innovation went wrong." First, Joyce's estate sent Venter a letter informing him that he lacked permission to use Joyce's work. Then, Caltech sent Venter's team a photo of the blackboard on which Feynman had written his famous quote: "What I cannot create, I do not understand," which differed from the line the researchers inserted into their synthetic sequence. "We're going back to change the genetic code to correct it," Venter said at South by Southwest.

The Scan

Two J&J Doses

Johnson & Johnson says two doses of its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine provides increased protection against symptomatic COVID-19, CNN reports.

Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Response in Kids

The Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in a lower-dose format appears to generate an immune response among children, according to the Washington Post.

Chicken Changes to Prevent Disease

The Guardian writes that researchers are looking at gene editing chickens to help prevent future pandemics.

PNAS Papers on Siberian Dog Ancestry, Insect Reproduction, Hippocampal Neurogenesis

In PNAS this week: ancestry and admixture among Siberian dogs, hormone role in fruit fly reproduction, and more.