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Baby's First Microbe

To study how babies develop their microbiomes — fetuses are thought to develop in a bacteria-free environment — Rob Knight and his colleagues characterized the microbiomes of babies delivered both vaginally and by Caesarean section using multiplexed 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing. In PNAS, they report that vaginally delivered infants have microbial communities that are similar to their mothers' vaginal microbiota while C-section infants have microbial communities similar to skin microbiota — perhaps from the first person who held the infant, one of the researchers, Noah Fierer, tells the UK's Press Association. The authors write that this could "explain why susceptibility to certain pathogens is often higher in C-section than in vaginally delivered infants."

The Scan

mRNA-Based Vaccine on the Way in China

China may soon have its own mRNA-based vaccine, according to Nature News.

Arranged Killing, Fraud Alleged by Prosecutors

The Wall Street Journal reports that prosecutors allege that the co-founder of a biotech arranged to have a business associate who threatened to expose him as a fraud killed.

Whirlwind Decade of CRISPR

The New York Times looks back at the 10 years since the University of California, Berkeley's Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues published their CRISPR paper.

PNAS Papers on Blue Cone Monochromacy Structural Variants, HIV-1 Mutant, T-ALL

In PNAS this week: structural variants linked to blue cone monochromacy, HIV-1 variants affecting the matrix protein p17, and more.