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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A new Nature Biotechnology paper reports that CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing can lead to large deletions or complex rearrangements that could be pathogenic.

The UK's Nuffield Council on Bioethics says genetically modifying human embryos could be morally permissible, according to the Guardian.

The Wall Street Journal likens a prototype developed by Synthetic Genomics to a "biological fax machine."

In PNAS this week: strategy for reactivating Rett syndrome-linked MECP2, small molecules able to suppress Staphylococcus aureus virulence, and more.