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NIH, Fluidigm, Berkeley Lab, Australian government

NIH Gives Fluidigm and Berkeley Lab $1M to Develop Microfluidic Chip
Fluidigm and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have received $1 million from the National Institutes of Health to develop a microfluidic chip to collect in situ X-ray diffraction data.
The chip will enable researchers to screen protein crystals at a synchrotron without first having to remove them from the chip.
The grant is for two years. According to a statement, the chip would allow researchers to identify the best crystals for diffraction experiment using actual X-ray data rather than relying on quantitative measures.

Genomics Research to Play Role in $390M Aussie Gov't Biotech Initiative
Australia plans to pump AU$500 million ($389 million) into building research infrastructure and facilities for genomic analysis, gene discovery, and medical imaging, among other projects, according to the nation's Minister for Education, Science and Training.
The funding is part of a drive announced by Minister Julie Bishop that aims to take research discoveries made by Australian scientists from the lab and into the world.
The money will fund a National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy, which Bishop said "will support emerging industries, such as nanotechnology and biotechnology products, underpin mature industries and help to address national challenges, such as generating sustainable energy and managing our natural resources.”  
In a statement, Bishop said that facilities are being developed in collaboration with the Australian government, state and territory governments, universities, research agencies and industry.
An additional AU$640 million in cash and in-kind contributions have been pledged so far for the facilities, in addition to the NCRIS funding, the statement said.

The Scan

Pfizer-BioNTech Seek Full Vaccine Approval

According to the New York Times, Pfizer and BioNTech are seeking full US Food and Drug Administration approval for their SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Viral Integration Study Critiqued

Science writes that a paper reporting that SARS-CoV-2 can occasionally integrate into the host genome is drawing criticism.

Giraffe Species Debate

The Scientist reports that a new analysis aiming to end the discussion of how many giraffe species there are has only continued it.

Science Papers Examine Factors Shaping SARS-CoV-2 Spread, Give Insight Into Bacterial Evolution

In Science this week: genomic analysis points to role of human behavior in SARS-CoV-2 spread, and more.