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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The UK's Nuffield Council on Bioethics says genetically modifying human embryos could be morally permissible, according to the Guardian.

A new Nature Biotechnology paper reports that CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing can lead to large deletions or complex rearrangements that could be pathogenic.

The Wall Street Journal likens a prototype developed by Synthetic Genomics to a "biological fax machine."

In PNAS this week: strategy for reactivating Rett syndrome-linked MECP2, small molecules able to suppress Staphylococcus aureus virulence, and more.