This week the Engineering Life conference kicks off in London, and this article from The Observer describes synthetic biology, which it calls "one of the most audacious, and controversial, scientific ideas of the 21st century." Scientists in the article say the field will have to be "properly monitored," and they point out that genetically modified foods are based on similar concepts.

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Researchers describe a way to share data while keeping it secure, Agence France Presse reports.

In Science this week: genetic mutations typically associated with esophageal cancer are common in older, healthy individuals, and more.

India's Council of Scientific and Industrial Research has a new director-general, according to ScienceInsider.

A new study links more than a hundred genes to autism spectrum disorder, Discover's D-brief blog reports.