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Practical Experience

As part of their final year of the scientific baccalaureate, 17 and 18-year-old French students have long been using plasmids to create transgenic Escherichia coli and now that classroom exercise has been to expanded allow younger 15- and 16-year-old students to take part. That prompted an outcry from France's Committee for Research and Independent Information on Genetic Engineering, reports Nature News. "We believe such material should not be manipulated by students before they reach university," says CRIIGEN's Gilles-Eric Séralini. The French Association of Biology and Geology Teachers, which sells the kits, disagrees. "The bacteria are not pathogenic and are destroyed with bleach when experiments are over," says Serge Lacassie from the teacher's association.

Patrick Morgan at Discover's Discoblog adds that "Séralini and Lacassie hold fundamentally different ideas about what a classroom experience should entail. One sees practical experience as a roadblock to biological knowledge, and the other sees it as a gateway to reality, proving that more than just a classroom bacterium hangs in the balance."

The Scan

US Booster Eligibility Decision

The US CDC director recommends that people at high risk of developing COVID-19 due to their jobs also be eligible for COVID-19 boosters, in addition to those 65 years old and older or with underlying medical conditions.

Arizona Bill Before Judge

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a judge is weighing whether a new Arizona law restricting abortion due to genetic conditions is a ban or a restriction.

Additional Genes

Wales is rolling out new genetic testing service for cancer patients, according to BBC News.

Science Papers Examine State of Human Genomic Research, Single-Cell Protein Quantification

In Science this week: a number of editorials and policy reports discuss advances in human genomic research, and more.