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WASHINGTON — At a congressional hearing on genetic engineering framed in part as a learning session, lawmakers queried experts from academia and industry on the technology’s power to change human health and and how the government could best support the scientists working on it.

“Today’s hearing is truly a hearing,” Republican Lamar Alexander, chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee, said at the start. “I intend to do more listening than talking.”

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