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A Bit of a Surprise

At his blog, Keith Robison says that his stalled Ion Torrent sequencing project has moved forward, and given him a bit of a surprise. He writes that when he designed his primers for the project back in March, there was little information from Ion to build off of, but when he did later see the application note, that there was no cause to be concerned about his primers. "Run on the 314 chip (since none other is broadly available), the expected yield would be around 100K reads of up to 100bp. Instead, we had about 28K reads after filtering, which dropped to just under 25K mappable reads," Robison says, adding, "Once we get to just what is allegedly my library, the big hit is 51% poor signal. So why so poor?" His library was too big; from Ion, he learned that the protocol is for inserts smaller than 150 basepairs, not his 150 to 205 basepair size. "Given that this is such a crucial point in amplicon design, why isn't it in the Application Note?" Robison asks. "I can make two guesses. One is a pure failure to think through what a customer might want to find in the note, as opposed to what marketing would like them to see. The other is worse: that the information was left out because it would need to change with each advance in the Ion chemistry."

The Scan

Two J&J Doses

Johnson & Johnson says two doses of its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine provides increased protection against symptomatic COVID-19, CNN reports.

Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Response in Kids

The Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in a lower-dose format appears to generate an immune response among children, according to the Washington Post.

Chicken Changes to Prevent Disease

The Guardian writes that researchers are looking at gene editing chickens to help prevent future pandemics.

PNAS Papers on Siberian Dog Ancestry, Insect Reproduction, Hippocampal Neurogenesis

In PNAS this week: ancestry and admixture among Siberian dogs, hormone role in fruit fly reproduction, and more.