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All the Gut Bugs

At Wee Beasties, blogger Kevin Bonham notes the increasing evidence that microbes, particularly gut microbes, play a large role in health and disease. Previously, studying these organisms was difficult, as many of them cannot easily be grown outside the body, but with sequencing tools getting at these microbes has become a bit easier.

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Moderna reports its vaccine is effective against new SARS-CoV-2 strains, though it is also developing a booster, according to the New York Times.

A new analysis suggests the B.1.1.7 strain of SARS-CoV-2 could be deadlier than previous ones, according to the Guardian.

NPR reports Merck is halting the development of its two candidate SARS-CoV-2 vaccines following disappointing Phase 1 results.

In PLOS this week: gene mutation linked to inherited venous thrombosis, lncRNA patterns in the Asian tiger mosquito, and more.