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After four years, an international group of scientists has come to an agreement on a standard DNA barcode for plants, reports Scientific American. In PNAS, the Consortium for the Barcode of Life Plant Working Group suggests using the matK and rbcL genes. With this barcode, 72 percent of plant species could be classified appropriately and the rest were assigned to closely related species.

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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.