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.

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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.