Nature News' Erica Check Hayden this week profiles a handful of synthetic biologists who are using next-generation sequencing and other molecular techniques to "quantify transcription in real time" and infer the 3-D "shapes of small RNA molecules," she says.

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Sequencing could help combat foodborne illnesses, according to a blog post by Food and Drug Administration officials.

Popular Mechanics reports that Caltech researchers have built a prototype nanobot using DNA.

The Sacramento Bee writes that direct-to-consumer genetic testing connected a woman to sperm donor-conceived half siblings.

In PLOS this week: gene expression catalog for sheep, viral diversity among respiratory samples from camels, and more.