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Are You Smarter Than a 15-Year-Old?

The Bioinformatics and Systems Engineering division of RIKEN is beginning to accept submissions for the International Rational Genome Design Contest — or GenoCon — today. GeoCon marks the "first-ever contest in rational genome design based on semantic Web technology," according to RIKEN. The contest, open to scientists of all ages — it includes a category for high school students, 15 and older to be judged separately from the "researchers" category — aims to collect and share the genome-design theories and methods from around the world. "To succeed, contestants must make effective use of genomic and protein data contained in SciNeS [Scientists' Networking System] database clusters to design DNA sequences that improve plant physiology," the RIKEN statement reads. "In the first GenoCon, contestants are asked to design a DNA sequence conferring to the model organism Arabidopsis thaliana the functionality to effectively eliminate and detoxify airborne formaldehyde." The contest entry deadline is September 30.

The Scan

Another Resignation

According to the Wall Street Journal, a third advisory panel member has resigned following the US Food and Drug Administration's approval of an Alzheimer's disease drug.

Novavax Finds Its Vaccine Effective

Reuters reports Novavax's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19.

Can't Be Used

The US Food and Drug Administration says millions of vaccine doses made at an embattled manufacturing facility cannot be used, the New York Times reports.

PLOS Papers on Frozen Shoulder GWAS, Epstein-Barr Effects on Immune Cell Epigenetics, More

In PLOS this week: genome-wide association study of frozen shoulder, epigenetic patterns of Epstein-Barr-infected B lymphocyte cells, and more.