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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

J&J Booster Support

A US Food and Drug Administration advisory panel has voted to support a booster dose of Johnson & Johnson's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, according to the Los Angeles Times.

To Keep the Cases Moving

The president of the UK Royal College of Pathologists tells the Financial Times that more investment is needed to tackle a backlog of cases.

NAS Expels Archaeologist

Science reports Luis Jaime Castillo Butters' expulsion is the first of an international member from the US National Academy of Sciences.

PLOS Papers on Angelman Syndrome-Like Cases, Salmonella Paratyphi A, SARS-CoV-2 in Brazil

In PLOS this week: exome sequencing analysis of Angelman syndrome-like cases, genetic epidemiology of Salmonella Paratyphi A, and more.