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It's Not All Bad

Despite recent calls from US watchdog groups to dial back synthetic biology research until regulations can be put in place, in the UK, the government has declared synthetic biology "a research priority" that could "lead to a new industrial revolution," reports Johnjoe McFadden at The Guardian. "It may be that synthetic biology is our best hope of preserving life on our planet," he says. The discipline could help save endangered ecosystems, provide new forms of energy and fuel, and feed people who can't grow traditional crops where they live. There are also dangers, McFadden adds, but doing nothing to solve problems that may, in part, be helped by advances in synthetic biology is also dangerous.

The Scan

Not Yet a Permanent One

NPR says the lack of a permanent Food and Drug Administration commissioner has "flummoxed" public health officials.

Unfair Targeting

Technology Review writes that a new report says the US has been unfairly targeting Chinese and Chinese-American individuals in economic espionage cases.

Limited Rapid Testing

The New York Times wonders why rapid tests for COVID-19 are not widely available in the US.

Genome Research Papers on IPAFinder, Structural Variant Expression Effects, Single-Cell RNA-Seq Markers

In Genome Research this week: IPAFinder method to detect intronic polyadenylation, influence of structural variants on gene expression, and more.