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If a population's genetic diversity is any indication — hint: it is — the giant panda faces less of an extinction threat than humans of European descent do. However, genetic diversity isn't the only force behind extinctions, nor is it often the driving one. A species' habitat and population size also play large roles in extinction events, and climate change and disease have also shown to be powerful drivers of such events.

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Nature News writes that additional details about the UK plan for an agency to support high-risk, high-reward science are needed.

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized Johnson & Johnson's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

The Wall Street Journal writes new studies are giving glimpses into the origins of SARS-CoV-2.

In PLOS this week: analysis of Plasmodium population structure, qPCR assay to diagnose scabies, and more.