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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

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.