A story in the BBC reports on the expected shift in human embryonic stem cell research policy under the incoming Obama administration. Many scientists are hopeful that he will lift the restrictive 2001 ban on certain cell lines, while others hope to see an infusion of cash and increased policy to support true bench-to-bedside research. "The impact of eight years under the previous administration for stem cell research has really been devastating," says Tom Okarma, head of stem cell company Geron.

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The UK's Nuffield Council on Bioethics says genetically modifying human embryos could be morally permissible, according to the Guardian.

A new Nature Biotechnology paper reports that CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing can lead to large deletions or complex rearrangements that could be pathogenic.

The Wall Street Journal likens a prototype developed by Synthetic Genomics to a "biological fax machine."

In PNAS this week: strategy for reactivating Rett syndrome-linked MECP2, small molecules able to suppress Staphylococcus aureus virulence, and more.