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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Rare gene mutations are guiding the search for drugs to manage chronic pain without opioids, according to CNBC.

The new Francis Crick Institute building can get too noisy for some researchers to concentrate, according to the Guardian.

CBS News reports that there are still many vacancies at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, but that it's uncertain whether they will be filled.

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: pipeline to analyze and visualize bacterial genomes, database of global set of human genomes, and more.