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Carl Zimmer heard Craig Venter speak at the Oxonian Society in New York. The audience, says Zimmer, was more interested in people than in Venter's energy plans, so Venter told them about the differences between his genome and James Watson's. When one person asked about the ethics of cloning and whether armies of clones would arise, Venter said that scientists don't have such science fiction-ish ambition because they're too boring.

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Stephen Hahn, the nominee to lead the US Food and Drug Administration, underwent a Senate confirmation hearing yesterday, the Washington Post reports.

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved an RNA interference drug to treat acute hepatic porphyria.

Gizmodo looks over the past decade of consumer DNA testing to find the field to be lacking.

In Nature this week: native RNA sequencing and analysis of a human poly(A) transcriptome, nanopore sequencing-based method to analyze short tandem repeat expansions, and more.