“Bouncing, pulsating blobs” created in her lab were a promising step in Petra Schwille’s efforts to build synthetic cells from scratch. The biophysicist and her colleagues are confident that within a decade, the first fully synthetic cells could spring to life.

China is leading the way in biotechnology, but its bioethics are another story, writes Yangyang Cheng. China is way ahead on using CRISPR technology to treat cancer with some 8 clinical trials. In 2006 China finally admitted to harvesting organs from executed prisoners,…