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An Ebola Surprise

Pieces of retroviruses are known littered throughout vertebrate genomes, and Anna Marie Skalka and her colleagues say that part of other viruses may also be found there. Taking an informatics-based approach, she and her colleagues compared the single-stranded RNA genomes of non-retroviruses to the genomes of 48 vertebrates, including humans and guinea pigs. As they report in PLoS Pathogens, they found that nearly half of the vertebrate genomes contained sequences from the Mononegavirales order — which includes Bornaviruses and the Filoviruses, Ebola and Marburg. The sequences date to about 40 million years ago, the researchers add. "We speculate that some of these must have provided an evolutionary advantage," Skalka tells Wired.

The Scan

Push Toward Approval

The Wall Street Journal reports the US Food and Drug Administration is under pressure to grant full approval to SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

Deer Exposure

About 40 percent of deer in a handful of US states carry antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, according to Nature News.

Millions But Not Enough

NPR reports the US is set to send 110 million SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses abroad, but that billions are needed.

PNAS Papers on CRISPR-Edited Cancer Models, Multiple Sclerosis Neuroinflammation, Parasitic Wasps

In PNAS this week: gene-editing approach for developing cancer models, role of extracellular proteins in multiple sclerosis, and more.