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Synthesizing Synthetic Biology

PLOS One has launched the Synthetic Biology Collection — a set of more than 50 papers that the journal has published since 2006 on DNA synthesis and assembly, the development of libraries of biological parts, protein engineering, network and pathway analysis, and the like.

The PLOS One Community Blog notes that "the heavily interdisciplinary nature" of synthetic biology research "can make it difficult to publish in traditional discipline-specific journals," but the broad scope of PLOS One "allows for the publication of work crossing many traditional research boundaries, making it an ideal venue for many different types of synthetic biology research."

The collection will be updated as relevant articles are published in the journal.

An overview of the collection, authored by Jean Peccoud and Mark Isalan, says that the papers are organized into broad categories: DNA synthesis and assembly; biological parts; protein engineering; networks and pathways; synthetic life; software and modeling; and instruments.

They add that "since many synthetic biology papers cited in this review span more than one category, it was sometimes difficult to assign them to one category rather than another. Nonetheless, this structure should aid in navigating the 50+ papers currently included in the collection."

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.