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Genomic Engineering Gets the Church Treatment

George Church's lab is at it again. A new paper out in Nature from first author Harris Wang details their multiplex automated genome engineering, or MAGE, method that automates and speeds up reprogramming cells. MAGE uses electroporation to get the custom-made single stranded DNA into the cells and can be done repeatedly. In the Nature paper, Wang and his colleagues used this approach to modify 24 regions of E. coli's 1-deoxy-d-xylulose-5-phosphate biosynthesis pathway with a pool of synthetic DNA. After three days, the researchers were able to notice a fivefold increase in lycopene production. "Automated sequencing really advanced the way we can read genetic information. We hope automated genome engineering will advance the way we write genetic information," Wang says in Wired.

The Scan

Not Yet a Permanent One

NPR says the lack of a permanent Food and Drug Administration commissioner has "flummoxed" public health officials.

Unfair Targeting

Technology Review writes that a new report says the US has been unfairly targeting Chinese and Chinese-American individuals in economic espionage cases.

Limited Rapid Testing

The New York Times wonders why rapid tests for COVID-19 are not widely available in the US.

Genome Research Papers on IPAFinder, Structural Variant Expression Effects, Single-Cell RNA-Seq Markers

In Genome Research this week: IPAFinder method to detect intronic polyadenylation, influence of structural variants on gene expression, and more.