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Gene therapy has a history of progressing in fits and starts. Even now, despite attracting generous financial support, inspiring profound research, and winning regulatory approvals, gene therapy continues to experience setbacks. Earlier this year, a clinical trial evaluating a gene therapy for X-linked myotubular myopathy was halted after two patients died, apparently in response to a viral vector. When might gene therapy resolve lingering uncertainties over its safety and efficacy, and begin making strong, steady progress? To address this question, the October issue of GEN presents several articles: a feature on gene therapy’s technical and developmental advances; a feature on the opportunities that are being pursued by hopeful startup companies; and perspectives on the manufacture of gene therapy vectors. Also prominent in this issue is a feature on spatial transcriptomics and a special report on agricultural biotech.

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