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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.

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The Oregon state Senate unanimously passed a bill that would make it easier for people convicted of crimes to initiate DNA testing of evidence, according to the Associated Press.

People reports that researchers have uncovered genetic variants that lead people to always feel full.

Florida state senators are to weigh a bill prohibiting life insurance companies from using genetic information in coverage decisions, according to Florida Politics.

In Genome Research this week: metagenomic sequencing assay that detects pathogens in cerebrospinal fluid, single-tube long fragment read approach, and more.