After finding the reference number for the synthetic Mycoplasma genitalium, Wired Science looked up the five watermarks in the organism's Genbank entry. The five coded messages are not Latin poetry as Icon Genetics used in their Arabidopsis thaliana demonstration, but rather are: VENTERINSTITVTE, CRAIGVENTER, HAMSMITH, CINDIANDCLYDE, and GLASSANDCLYDE.

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Publication of He Jiankui's work on gene-edited infants would raise ethical concerns for journals, Wired and others report.

The New York Times reports that evidence linking trauma in one generation to epigenetic effects that influence subsequent generations may be overstated.

ScienceInsider reports that US National Institutes of Health researchers were told in the fall they could not obtain new human fetal tissue.

In PNAS this week: skin pigmentation evolution among KhoeSan, biomarkers for dengue virus progression, and more.