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The Sustainability of Biofuels

Christina Agapakis at Oscillator says that most synthetic biology labs generate a lot of non-sustainable waste. "In a busy day of experiments working towards making sustainable biological fuels I can generate huge amounts of plastic waste, and it's something I feel hypocritical and terrible for," she writes. Rather than constantly re-ordering disposable sample prep kits for each DNA extraction, researchers should consider cleaning tubes for repeat use up to 10 times, Agapakis suggests. "By simply soaking used columns in dilute (0.1-1M) hydrochloric acid for a while, then washing and rinsing them in distilled water a few times, the columns are clear of DNA that could interfere with future experiments and ready to be reused," she writes, adding that this technique can be applied to other common laboratory consumable, and is "just one really simple way to save money and drastically reduce plastic waste coming out of molecular biology labs."

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.