NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Life Technologies this week said that it has awarded around $1.7 million in five new grants to seven organizations through its foundation. The firm said that among the organization that have received funding are the Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, for its online biology textbook, Life on Earth, and a PBS documentary on the use of DNA as a diagnostic tool.

Life Technologies said that, including these awards, its foundation has committed around $5 million in funding in 2009.

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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.