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"Complexity Is Winning"

At Ars Technica Robert Fortner writes that "synthetic biology does away with systems biology's untidiness by focusing on individual parts" but as it goes about that, it "rediscovers the complexity it hoped to escape." Fortner then looks into the work coming out of the Institute for Systems Biology and Lee Hood's protégés, as well as from other groups and companies. But they all seem to be coming up against the problem of complexity. "Although synthetic biology begins at the bottom and looks up, it eventually comes face to face with the same complexity that systems biology sees peering from the top down," Fortner writes. "In either direction, the more we look, the more we find. In the pincer movement of systems and synthetic biology on complexity, complexity is winning."

The Scan

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.