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In an opinion piece at The Guardian, Nature's Adam Rutherford says that "the present gains and future benefits of synthetic biology are too great for it to be written off with fear-mongering maxims." He says that while "environmentalists, religious figures and sections of the media regularly use the phrase ["Playing God"] as a handy stick with which to beat those in the field," advances in synthetic biology are critical.

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The US has sent its formal notice of withdrawal from the World Health Organization, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Science reports that a draft spending bill would increase the US National Institutes of Health budget by 13 percent.

The Harvard Crimson reports that Harvard and MIT are suing the Department of Homeland Security and ICE over the new international student visa policy.

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: algorithm to determine molecular sequence types and other microbial features, computational method to uncover R-loop structures, and more.