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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Chinese state news agency Xinhua reports that a preliminary investigation has found He Jiankui performed his gene-editing work illegally.

John Mendelsohn, a former president of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, has died, the New York Times reports.

Identical twins receive different estimates of ancestry from the same direct-to-consumer genetic testing firms, CBC reports.

In PNAS this week: chromosomal features of maize, adaptations in the vinous-throated parrotbill, and more.