They're Not All Good

In a recent study, scientists at the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Oklahoma City found that Enterococcus faecalis bacteria living in the gut can damage DNA and up gene expression linked to colon cancer, reports the BBC. They exposed colon cells in vitro to the bacterium and found that when it was in a "fermentation state," it produced a "superoxide" molecule that could damage DNA in surrounding cells.

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The UK's Nuffield Council on Bioethics says genetically modifying human embryos could be morally permissible, according to the Guardian.

A new Nature Biotechnology paper reports that CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing can lead to large deletions or complex rearrangements that could be pathogenic.

The Wall Street Journal likens a prototype developed by Synthetic Genomics to a "biological fax machine."

In PNAS this week: strategy for reactivating Rett syndrome-linked MECP2, small molecules able to suppress Staphylococcus aureus virulence, and more.