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In Science this week, a multi-institute team reports new DNA- and RNA-like systems engineered using eight nucleotide building blocks — dubbed hachimoji — that form orthogonal pairs. According to the scientists, the synthetic systems meet the structural requirements needed to support Darwinian evolution and offer increased informational density over standard DNA.

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Nature News reports that gene therapy approaches are tackling sickle cell disease, but that the cost of treatment is a concern.

The Washington Post reports that a US Senate committee voted this week to approve the nomination of Stephen Hahn to lead the Food and Drug Administration.

One gene regulates hundreds of others to influence facial development, according to New Scientist.

In Nature this week: resources for single-cell analysis, little overlap in the microRNAs used by Salmonella and Shigella to infect host cells, and more.