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Business Insider reports on efforts to apply genetic engineering to cacao plants.

In Nature this week: new CRISPR nuclease described, gut bacteria reference, and more.

February 5, 2019: Researchers are searching for a range of gene-editing enzyme tools, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Two new studies identified extensive RNA scaffolds underlying the increased editing efficiency of these nucleases.

Which Way to Go

The New York Times reports on international efforts to oversee and regulate gene-editing work.

The protease-activated Cas9 enzymes could reduce off-target effects and could be used to sense pathogens and trigger an immune response.

Stat News reports that the University of California and publisher Elsevier are fighting over open-access journal payments.

Prospective research suggests DNA and RNA sequencing can reveal pathogen, microbiome, and host expression features to detect lower respiratory tract infections.

In Genome Research this week: queen bee chromatin profiles, quantitative trait loci and allele-specific expression in wild house mice, and more.

The court upheld a judgement of no interference-in-fact from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, leaving the Broad in control of key CRISPR IP.

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Politico notes that the Biden Administration has not yet nominated a permanent Food and Drug Administration commissioner. 

Anthony Fauci also informed the World Health Organization executive board that the US would be joining the COVAX initiative, according to CNBC.

A new preprint suggests some SARS-CoV-2 variants could affect the effectiveness of current vaccines, the Associated Press reports.

In Nature this week: Australian lungfish provides details on the movement of vertebrate life from water to land, and more.