Changes to the Newsletter - 2021.01.01 edition

Expect two issues per week, and other things.

Happy New Year, and welcome to the “Year of the Cow”—a far cry better, in my opinion, than 2020’s “Year of the Rat”.

Right off the bat (hah), you may have noticed a new name for this newsletter: Cell Crunch, rather than the former This Week in Synthetic Biology. This change was made because, well, it’s shorter, but also because this newsletter is broadly about biology, cells and the technologies that are being used to edit them, change them, and make them anew. I think that the new name better reflects the aim of this newsletter and is more accessible to non-scientists.

This newsletter, moving forward, will also be doubling in frequency. It will be sent twice per week, on Mondays and Fridays, and the structure is changing a bit.

Mondays will now be “research-focused” newsletters. These issues will contain all of the latest research papers, preprints and reviews, written in a style that will be familiar to readers of this newsletter. I may interject my opinion on new pieces of research, as I’ve done in the past, but the aim of the Monday issues is to inform you on the latest research news.

Friday issues will be less serious and, I feel, a better fit for an end-of-the-week newsletter. These issues will now be focused exclusively on biotechnology and synthetic biology news. You can expect to hear brief highlights of stories in, say, The New York Times or WIRED, but I’ll also include some opinions/commentary and company news, where relevant. If you would like me to include news about your business or research, please reach out to me directly. I’d be happy to write about your work in the Monday or Friday issue.

A final word: I haven’t made any money from this newsletter, and it will probably remain that way for some time. I think that science should be accessible to everyone, regardless of financial means. Each issue takes me 5-6 hours to write, as I skim through dozens of journal and news websites, pull out links each week, and then read content so that I can at least partially understand and distill its information. All the errors that you see are my own!

Despite the workload involved, I write this newsletter because I care about this research community and enjoy the conversations that I have shared with some of you. As long as you read this newsletter, I will do my best to continue writing it. You can also always reach out to me via email, and I will respond.

Thanks again for reading, and see you Monday. Onwards!

Niko