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New synthetic biology tools may enable genetic engineers to play with metabolic pathways and the genetic code, according to the Economist.

For instance, it reports that Antheia, a firm founded by Christina Smolke, is working on designing new metabolic pathways to cheaply produce opiates for pain relief and to devise ones that are less addictive.

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US National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins says he will avoid male-only speaker panels.

Two patients fell ill, and one subsequently died, following a fecal microbiome transplant that harbored multi-drug-resistant bacteria, according to the New York Times.

Technology Review reports that eGenesis is testing whether organs from genetically modified pigs can be transplanted into monkeys.

In Science this week: almond reference genome, and more.