It seems like everything these days can be customized to suit a particular need or want — everything from cars, shoes, and clothes, to bacteria. Synthetic biologists are working to create novel bacteria for all kinds of industrial uses, like organisms that could secrete biofuels or clean up oil spills, says the Boston Globe's Carolyn Johnson.

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National Geographic reports that marine mammals have lost a gene that could make them more susceptible to organophosphate damage.

NPR reports on Human Cell Atlas Consortium's effort to catalog all the different cell types within the human body.

The Union of Concerned Scientists surveyed US government scientists about Trump Administration policies and more, Science reports.

In PNAS this week: history and genetic diversity of the scarlet macaw, approach for predicting human flu virus evolution, and more.