With more than $10 million from Mars, Inc. (the makers of M&Ms and more), the US Department of Agriculture and IBM Research's computational biology team will be working on sequencing and analyzing the cacao tree. The goal of the project is to find ways to circumvent crop diseases (cocoa farmers lose $700 million annually to fungal diseases) and make yummier chocolate.

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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.