By Matt Jones

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Obama Administration has started implementing several policy recommendations aimed at creating a vigilant and secure oversight for synthetic biology, as they were laid out in an administration report from two years ago, but it has not yet moved on around half of those proposals, according to an external review by the Synthetic Biology Project.

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In Nature this week: omic analysis of permafrost microbes, hookworm genome, and more.

Biologists turn to environmental DNA sampling to determine whether elusive or invasive species are shedding DNA in a given area.

Rob Knight writes at Scientific American that microbiome studies are about to break out of the laboratory.

Harold Varmus, the director of the National Cancer Institute, has announced that he is stepping down after nearly five years.