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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

NFTs for Genome Sharing

Nature News writes that non-fungible tokens could be a way for people to profit from sharing genomic data.

Wastewater Warning System

Time magazine writes that cities and college campuses are monitoring sewage for SARS-CoV-2, an approach officials hope lasts beyond COVID-19.

Networks to Boost Surveillance

Scientific American writes that new organizations and networks aim to improve the ability of developing countries to conduct SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance.

Genome Biology Papers on Gastric Cancer Epimutations, BUTTERFLY, GUNC Tool

In Genome Biology this week: recurrent epigenetic mutations in gastric cancer, correction tool for unique molecular identifier-based assays, and more.