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If We Can't Get Designer, What About a Convincing Knockoff?

An article in the Guardian wonders whether designer babies -- as well as IVF used to avoid having children with major diseases -- will ever be possible, considering our current lack of knowledge of gene function and how genes and environment interact. Vivienne Parry writes, "Altering genes isn't like editing a document in Word. DNA is an invisibly thin molecule coiled upon itself with the millions of letters that we can't see -- trying to alter just three letters without damaging anything else is a truly daunting task. These dangers mean that designer babies are not possible now and may never be."

The Scan

Renewed Gain-of-Function Worries

The New York Times writes that the pandemic is renewing concerns about gain-of-function research.

Who's Getting the Patents?

A trio of researchers has analyzed gender trends in biomedical patents issued between 1976 and 2010 in the US, New Scientist reports.

Other Uses

CBS Sunday Morning looks at how mRNA vaccine technology could be applied beyond SARS-CoV-2.

PLOS Papers Present Analysis of Cervicovaginal Microbiome, Glycosylation in Model Archaea, More

In PLOS this week: functional potential of the cervicovaginal microbiome, glycosylation patterns in model archaea, and more.