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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

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.