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Scientists have been successfully reading the genome for the last 15 to 20 years, but two new papers provide the first hints that it may someday be possible to write genetic code as cheaply, efficiently, and accurately as nature does.

One, published Monday in Nature Biotechnology by researchers at the Department of Energy’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), will be useful for synthesizing genes for biotechnology; the other, published Saturday in bioRxiv, advances efforts to store information in DNA, said Harvard geneticist George Church, who co-wrote it. The Church paper is a preprint and has not been peer-reviewed.

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