The University of Illinois' Huimin Zhao and his colleagues report on their new DNA assembler method in Nucleic Acids Research. Needing only simple DNA preparation and a one-step yeast transformation, this in vivo process can assemble an entire biochemical pathway of Saccharomyces cerevisiae in a single step by taking advantage of homologous recombination. "Assembling genes into a biochemical pathway using a DNA assembler is similar to building a toy train.

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

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

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.