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Couldn't They Have Chosen Nice Memories?

Here's a story from the New York Times reporting on work from Gero Miesenböck at the University of Oxford and published recently in Cell. In the study, the biologists used light to activate a group of cells in the fly brain to lay down a bad memory and assess how flies respond to the reminder of a negative experience. "Dr. Miesenböck’s team was able to distinguish, by their genetics, different classes of the dopamine-making neurons. By tagging each class of neurons with a gene that makes a fluorescent protein, they could make the dopamine neurons light up and they could trace their circuitry," the article says. "Only one class, consisting of just 12 neurons, made the right connections in the fly’s brain to function in learning shock avoidance."

The Scan

Not as High as Hoped

The Associated Press says initial results from a trial of CureVac's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine suggests low effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.

Finding Freshwater DNA

A new research project plans to use eDNA sampling to analyze freshwater rivers across the world, the Guardian reports.

Rise in Payments

Kaiser Health News investigates the rise of payments made by medical device companies to surgeons that could be in violation of anti-kickback laws.

Nature Papers Present Ginkgo Biloba Genome Assembly, Collection of Polygenic Indexes, More

In Nature this week: a nearly complete Ginkgo biloba genome assembly, polygenic indexes for dozens of phenotypes, and more.