The J. Craig Venter Institute's Derrick Fouts and colleagues describe the method they used to peek at the pan-genome of the genetically variable bacteria Acinetobacter baumannii. With the pan-genome orthology clustering tool PanOCT, the researchers assessed draft genome sequences for 50 newly sequenced A. baumannii isolates collected from the US military healthcare system, coupled with existing sequence data for nearly 200 previously sequenced isolates.

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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.