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The Scan

No One's Perfect

A review of Michael Sandel's new book "The Case Against Perfection."

The 'octosquid,' possibly a new species, has surfaced in Hawaii.

No Chatty Cathies, Sea Anemones Sequenced, Greenland's DNA, and more in this issue of Science.

As all eyes turn to synthetic biology, the possibilities seem tremendous -- but the regulatory landscape remains uncharted.

A group of Israeli scientists report building a computer made entirely of DNA.

Scathing Reviews

To add to the arena of evolutionary biologists weighing in on religion, we've got David Sloan Wilson taking issue with Richard Dawkins.

Nature gets into GINA, science fiction, mirtrons and more in this week's issue.

A review from Richard Dawkins pans the latest book from intelligent design advocate Michael Behe.

In the latest New York Review of Books, Freeman Dyson addresses what he sees as "our biotech future" -- a rosy place where biotech is as omnipresent and helpful as computers.

Biofilms Beware

Synthetic biologists conjure up viruses that can dissolve problematic biofilms.

In his blog, Steven Salzberg blames anti-science pols for flat spending on scientific research.

Elizabeth Blackburn, telomere specialist and rumored Nobel candidate, sits for a Q&A with the New York Times.

Judges take a refresher course on science and the law.

A blogger says genomic sequencing divides people into three camps based on how they view its effects on health insurance coverage.

An article from the Wall Street Journal checks into the disconnect between what science can prove and the strength of popular opinion -- in this case, about the cause of autism.

An article in the New York Times predicts major ramifications in biotech from recent findings that genes aren't as individually packaged and tidy as was once thought.

A podcast from Futures in Biotech features Drew Endy, Ed DeLong, Lee Hood, and John Bergeron.

Craig Venter publishes on swapping one bacterial genome for another; mainstream media jump into the fray.

A blogger muses on whether scientists are interested in open science.

Science reports on Africa, the 1% difference, and excising HIV from cells.

A study of feline DNA shows a lineage of domestic cats going back 10,000 years.

No Neandertal-European interbreeding, says the Genographic Project.

Blogger Paulo Nuin posts a Q&A with Jeremy Squire from the Ontario Cancer Institute.

A phylogeographical study shows roots of modern man in Africa.

Nature's weekly dose of science includes the struggle of medium-sized academic departments, synthetic biology, and a genome-wide association study of breast cancer.


The Washington Post reports on researchers' efforts to determine the effect of an increasingly common SARS-CoV-2 mutation.

Florida Politics reports Florida's law barring life, long-term care, and disability insurers from using genetic information in coverage decisions went into effect at the beginning of July.

A new analysis finds a link between popular media coverage of a scientific study and how often that paper is cited.

In Nature this week: CRISPR approaches to editing plant genomes, way to speed up DNA-PAINT, and more.