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A Synthetic Biology Primer

There are three versions of synthetic biology, writes University of Cambridge graduate student SE Gould in a guest blog at Scientific American. The first she says is Drew Endy and Tom Knight's biobrick concept from that says "that manipulatable biological parts should be standardized, to be used like nuts and bolts in machinery." Second, there is the approach that is "more concerned with affecting the output" of cells, she says, particularly for use in drug production. Finally, there is the most-talked about type: Craig Venter's work to create synthetic genomes. Although public concern about synthetic biology is increasing, Gould says that the field is "synthetic biology is an exciting and fast-moving field to get involved in" and that "proper monitoring" will help allay those fears.

The Scan

Vaccine Update Recommended

A US Food and Drug Administration panel recommends booster vaccines be updated to target Omicron, CNBC reports.

US to Make More Vaccines for Monkeypox Available

The US is to make nearly 300,000 vaccine doses available in the coming weeks to stem the spread of human monkeypox virus, according to NPR.

Sentence Appealed

The Associated Press reports that Swedish prosecutors are appealing the sentence given to a surgeon once lauded for transplanting synthetic tracheas but then convicted of causing bodily harm.

Genome Biology Papers on COVID-19 Effector Genes, Virtual ChIP-seq, scDART

In Genome Biology this week: proposed COVID-19 effector genes, method to predict transcription factor binding patterns, and more.