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Synthetic Biology Catches Obama's Eye

Researchers everywhere are gazing in awe at Craig Venter's latest achievement in synthetic biology. But the scientific community isn't the only one paying attention. President Obama is also keeping an eye on science, and has asked his bioethics commission to take a look at Venter's work and report back to him, says ScienceInsider. In the letter, addressed to commission chair Amy Gutmann, Obama asks the commission to do a six-month study on benefits and risks of the research to medicine, the environment, and national security and then report their findings and recommendations back to him, ScienceInsider says. "It is vital that we as a society consider, in a thoughtful manner, the significance of this kind of scientific development," Obama writes.

The Scan

Quality Improvement Study Compares Molecular Tumor Boards, Central Consensus Recommendations

With 50 simulated cancer cases, researchers in JAMA Network Open compared molecular tumor board recommendations with central consensus plans at a dozen centers in Japan.

Lupus Heterogeneity Highlighted With Single-Cell Transcriptomes

Using single-cell RNA sequencing, researchers in Nature Communications tracked down immune and non-immune cell differences between discoid lupus erythematosus and systemic lupus erythematosus.

Rare Disease Clues Gleaned From Mobile Element Insertions in Exome Sequences

With an approach called MELT, researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics uncovered mobile element insertions in exomes from 3,232 individuals with or without developmental or neurological abnormalities.

Team Tracks Down Potential Blood Plasma Markers Linked to Heart Failure in Atrial Fibrillation Patients

Researchers in BMC Genomics found 10 differentially expressed proteins or metabolites that marked atrial fibrillation with heart failure cases.