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Talking About Synthetic Biology

A poll of 1,001 American adults found that 90 percent of them think the public should be better informed about emerging technologies, reports Scientific Blogging. About 22 percent of them had heard of synthetic biology, up from nine percent last year, adds Science Progress. However, the more people learned about the field, the more concerned they became. "Regardless of their awareness of synthetic biology, or where they come down on the risk-benefit tradeoff, a strong majority of adults think this research should be regulated by the federal government," Geoff Garin, president of the company that conducted the survey, says.

Science Progress suggests that a narrative about synthetic biology, such as the recent New Yorker article, can more easily show that "brilliant people working on synthetic biology are motivated by values—just as citizens concerned about the technology are motivated by values in forming their opinions of the work."

The Scan

Alzheimer's Risk Gene Among Women

CNN reports that researchers have found that variants in MGMT contribute to Alzheimer's disease risk among women but not men.

Still Hanging Around

The Guardian writes that persistent pockets of SARS-CoV-2 in the body could contribute to long COVID.

Through a Little Spit

Enteric viruses like norovirus may also be transmitted through saliva, not just the fecal-oral route, according to New Scientist.

Nature Papers Present Method to Detect Full Transcriptome, Viruses Infecting Asgard Archaea, More

In Nature this week: VASA-seq approach to detect full transcriptome, analysis of viruses infecting Asgard archaea, and more.