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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The New York Times reports that as China invests in science, it also is dealing with research fraud.

In PLOS this week: transcriptome study of a cold-tolerant plant, deep sequencing of clinical influenza A samples, and more.

The Atlantic writes that retrotransposons like BovB have proliferated in a number of genomes.

Researchers have sequenced the genome of a man who lived in China some 40,000 years ago, according to UPI.