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Raising the Standards

Drew Endy's lab has an article in Nature Biotechnology describing how they developed a framework to define and describe engineered biological devices that they then applied to an engineered, genetically encoded cell-cell communication receiver, called BBa_F2620. The framework they use is adapted from existing ones for engineered devices -- there are, they say, biological equivalents to sensors, logic gates, and actuators. The datasheet on BBa_F2620 reports its static performance, compatibility, and reliability, among other characteristics. "The characterization of BBa_F2620 sets up perhaps the first nearly complete standard to which future attempts can be compared," writes the University of California, Berkeley's Adam Arkin in a related News and Views.

The Scan

Gone, But Now Reconstructed SARS-CoV-2 Genomes

In a preprint, a researcher describes his recovery of viral sequences that had been removed from a common database.

Rare Heart Inflammation Warning

The Food and Drug Administration is adding a warning about links between a rare inflammatory heart condition and two SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, Reuters reports.

Sandwich Sampling

The New York Times sent tuna sandwiches for PCR analysis.

Nature Papers Describe Gut Viruses, New Format for Storing Quantitative Genomic Data, More

In Nature this week: catalog of DNA viruses of the human gut microbiome, new dense depth data dump format to store quantitative genomic data, and more.