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Eight Is Better Than Four

PolITiGenomics points to a paper published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society by University of Toyama researchers, who have created the first DNA-like molecule made from entirely artificial bases. The Japanese scientists created four new bases and integrated them into a strand of DNA, resulting in and "unusually stable" structure that was both right-handed and could form into triple-stranded structures, says a release at Science Daily. "The unique chemistry of these structures and their high stability offer unprecedented possibilities for developing new biotech materials and applications," according to the researchers.

The Scan

Renewed Gain-of-Function Worries

The New York Times writes that the pandemic is renewing concerns about gain-of-function research.

Who's Getting the Patents?

A trio of researchers has analyzed gender trends in biomedical patents issued between 1976 and 2010 in the US, New Scientist reports.

Other Uses

CBS Sunday Morning looks at how mRNA vaccine technology could be applied beyond SARS-CoV-2.

PLOS Papers Present Analysis of Cervicovaginal Microbiome, Glycosylation in Model Archaea, More

In PLOS this week: functional potential of the cervicovaginal microbiome, glycosylation patterns in model archaea, and more.