Bitesize Bio takes you through a protocol to make your very own competent E. coli cells, which can be pretty expensive to buy. "One morning's work (with a bit of work ahead of time) is all it takes to make great electrocompetent E. coli prep," Nick writes, adding that you'd be able to get competencies of 1x1010, with a little practice.

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Robert Redfield is floated as the next director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Washington Post reports.

The New York Times writes that the National Institutes of Health's All of Us Research Program is "ambitious" and that some are concerned it might be overly so.

Representative Lamar Smith's criticism of the National Science Foundation has "changed the nature of the conversation," according to ScienceInsider.

In PLOS this week: non-coding RNA function in yeast, transcriptomic profiles of malaria parasites, and more.