Researchers at Tufts University have found a way to engineer bacteria to produce enough protein to make spider silk, according to MIT's Technology Review. The silk — which is lightweight and tougher than steel — could have many industry applications, says Tech Review's Katherine Bourzac. Previous efforts to do this have failed because researchers were unable to get the microbes to produce enough protein to synthesize the silk, Bourzac adds.

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Technology Review reports that researchers in the US have used CRISPR to modify a number of human embryos.

By introducing genes from butterfly peas and Canterbury bells, researchers in Japan have developed a blue chrysanthemum, according to NPR.

Plant researchers plan to sequence some 10,000 samples that represent the major plant clades, ScienceInsider reports.

In Nature this week: a Danish reference genome, and more.