When Craig Venter's team published its work on the synthetic organism phi X174 a few years ago, it sparked a series of panels to determine the work's scientific, ethical, and national security implications, writes Laurie Garrett at Foreign Affairs. Other fields like chemistry and physics, she notes, have gone through stages where advances in them could either help or humanity, and now it appears to biology's turn.

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Researchers find that historical factors influence which genes are the most highly studied, the Atlantic reports.

The US National Science Foundation's new sexual harassment policy is to go into effect next month, according to Nature News.

Researchers report using genotyping to tie together illegal ivory shipments and trace them back to a handful of cartels, the New York Times reports.

In Nature this week: genomic ancestry analysis of Sardinians, current noncoding mutations in colorectal cancer, and more.