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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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The Hill reports President Donald Trump issued an executive directing federal agencies to cut the number of board and advisory committees they have.

The New York Times reports that researchers are combining tools to more quickly develop crops to feed a growing population and cope with shifting climates.

Scientists in Canada are looking to the UK's plan to sequence children with rare conditions for inspiration, the National Post reports.

In PNAS this week: copy number changes arose during polar bear evolution, genomic and transcriptomic analysis of the Siberian hamster, and more.