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Stirring Up Interest ... and Maybe Trouble

As expected, Craig Venter's paper on transplanting the genome of one bacteria into another has spurred new interest in the synthetic biology field. This piece from New Scientist explores the field as a whole, noting that Venter's project could still be one-upped by anyone who actually creates a living cell from scratch. The article quotes one scientist as saying, "We are at the doorstep of being able to create life." Now why do people compare this to playing God?

Another entry, this one a blog post from Brandon Keim for Wired, focuses on possible regulations that may crop up in this field. "It's not entirely clear whether synthetic biology could pose new, unexpected challenges" to current regulations in place for the biotech field, he writes.

 

The Scan

Rise of BA.5

The New York Times reports that the Omicron subvariant BA.5 has become the dominant version of SARS-CoV-2 in the US.

UK Health Secretary Resigns

Sajid Javid, the UK health secretary, resigned along with Chancellor Rishi Sunak, saying they cannot work with Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government, CNN reports.

Clones From Freeze-Dried Cells

A team in Japan has cloned mice from freeze-dried skin cells, according to the Guardian.

Genome Research Papers on Craniosynostosis, Macaque Retrotransposition, More

In Genome Research this week: structural variants in craniosynostosis, LINE-1 activity in rhesus macaque brain, and more.