Scary Yet Cool

This New Yorker story looks into synthetic biology, particularly the work of Berkeley's Jay Keasling and Stanford's Drew Endy. Both say that one goal of their work is to make interchangeable parts that can be swapped in and out of a cell — like a hard drive, as Keasling puts it. However, some of what is proposed, namely creating new forms of life or designing children, gives people pause. Why? "Because it's scary as hell," Endy says.

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Researchers in the UK and Australia uncover genetic links between BMI and depression, the Guardian reports.

The Verge details the account of an academic who alleges her university retaliated against her after she complained of sexual harassment by her supervisor.

The New York Times writes that natural history museums are helping round out genetic studies with older specimens.

In PNAS this week: artemisinin resistance mutations in malaria parasites, ant-plant interactions over time, and more.