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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

Vaccine Update Recommended

A US Food and Drug Administration panel recommends booster vaccines be updated to target Omicron, CNBC reports.

US to Make More Vaccines for Monkeypox Available

The US is to make nearly 300,000 vaccine doses available in the coming weeks to stem the spread of human monkeypox virus, according to NPR.

Sentence Appealed

The Associated Press reports that Swedish prosecutors are appealing the sentence given to a surgeon once lauded for transplanting synthetic tracheas but then convicted of causing bodily harm.

Genome Biology Papers on COVID-19 Effector Genes, Virtual ChIP-seq, scDART

In Genome Biology this week: proposed COVID-19 effector genes, method to predict transcription factor binding patterns, and more.