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DNA Testing for Illegal Ivory Trade

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, or CITES, has increased trade regulations for endangered species like sharks, and it has also acknowledged the role that DNA testing could play in tracing illegal ivory to its source, Nature reports. The conference of the parties, or COP, said that such testing should be required when large seizures are made. Phys.org notes that poaching of the African elephant is at its highest level since the ivory trade was banned in 1989. The CITES resolution says that any country that seizes 500 kilograms (about 1100 pounds) or more of ivory must take samples and test them within 90 days, Phys.org adds.

"I was ecstatic because it was the first time that the entire COP acknowledged the value and need for DNA testing for the origin of poached ivory. All my hard work had finally paid off," Samuel Wasser from the University of Washington and who directs the Center for Conservation Biology tells Nature.

The Scan

CDC Calls Delta "Variant of Concern"

CNN reports the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now considers the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 to be a "variant of concern."

From FDA to Venture Capital

Former FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn is taking a position at a venture capital firm, leading some ethicists to raise eyebrows, according to the Washington Post.

Consent Questions

Nature News writes that there are questions whether informed consent was obtained for some submissions to a database of Y-chromosome profiles.

Cell Studies on Multimodal Single-Cell Analysis, Coronaviruses in Bats, Urban Microbiomes

In Cell this week: approach to analyze multimodal single-cell genomic data, analysis of bat coronaviruses, and more.