President Barack Obama signed a memorandum yesterday that established a White House taskforce to tackle cancer, the New York Times reports.

The taskforce will be led by Vice President Joe Biden and will include members from about a dozen government agencies, the Times says, noting that its first meeting is to be Monday.

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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.