In 1686, a surgeon was called to remove an anal fistula from Louis XIV of France — something he most likely did with a modified barber's razor, as surgeons of the time belonged to the same profession as barbers and wigmakers, says New Scientist's CultureLab.

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Technology Review reports that researchers in the US have used CRISPR to modify a number of human embryos.

By introducing genes from butterfly peas and Canterbury bells, researchers in Japan have developed a blue chrysanthemum, according to NPR.

Plant researchers plan to sequence some 10,000 samples that represent the major plant clades, ScienceInsider reports.

In Nature this week: a Danish reference genome, and more.