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Hand in Hand

Science needs free speech to work, and science has come to play an important role in defending against censorship in recent years, writes Jo Glanville at New Scientist. Glanville, editor of the Index on Censorship magazine, says this is partly due to the increasing cross between science and politics, but it also "reflects a revolution in access to information." One censorship tool to silence researchers is the libel lawsuit, but more recently, there have also been examples of the scientific community self-censoring and keeping information somewhat secret. "All too often the fight for free speech depends on the courage of individuals," Glanville says. "Both the law and the culture within the science establishment have to change in order to safeguard open debate. Freedom of expression depends on it."

The Scan

Genome Sequences Reveal Range Mutations in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Researchers in Nature Genetics detect somatic mutation variation across iPSCs generated from blood or skin fibroblast cell sources, along with selection for BCOR gene mutations.

Researchers Reprogram Plant Roots With Synthetic Genetic Circuit Strategy

Root gene expression was altered with the help of genetic circuits built around a series of synthetic transcriptional regulators in the Nicotiana benthamiana plant in a Science paper.

Infectious Disease Tracking Study Compares Genome Sequencing Approaches

Researchers in BMC Genomics see advantages for capture-based Illumina sequencing and amplicon-based sequencing on the Nanopore instrument, depending on the situation or samples available.

LINE-1 Linked to Premature Aging Conditions

Researchers report in Science Translational Medicine that the accumulation of LINE-1 RNA contributes to premature aging conditions and that symptoms can be improved by targeting them.