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Does Evolution Need to Evolve?

Systems biology has a lot to offer the theory of neo-Darwinian evolution, writes Brandon Keim on Wired's blog. Here, he revisits conversations with Carl Woese, one of the first proponents of the idea that evolution is more complex than simply individual genetic changes within organisms, and that it should take into account entire biological systems. In looking beyond the unexplained jumps, Woese "invokes yet-to-be-quantified rules of complexity and emergence. These, he said, may also explain other exceptional jumps, such as the transition from protein fragments to single cells and from single-celled organisms to multicellular ones," writes Keim.

The Scan

PNAS Papers on Historic Helicobacter Spread, Brain Development, C. difficile RNAs

In PNAS this week: Helicobacter genetic diversity gives insight into human migrations, gene expression patterns of brain development, and more.

Another Resignation

According to the Wall Street Journal, a third advisory panel member has resigned following the US Food and Drug Administration's approval of an Alzheimer's disease drug.

Novavax Finds Its Vaccine Effective

Reuters reports Novavax's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19.

Can't Be Used

The US Food and Drug Administration says millions of vaccine doses made at an embattled manufacturing facility cannot be used, the New York Times reports.