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In other open-access news, a bill that requires research funded by the NIH to be freely available within 12 months of publication is making its way in front of the US Senate (it is part of the fiscal year 2008 appropriation bill). A similar bill has already been passed in the House. Blogger Coturnix urges readers to contact their senators to "ensure that taxpayer-funded research is freely available to its funders -- the taxpayers."

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Moderna reports its vaccine is effective against new SARS-CoV-2 strains, though it is also developing a booster, according to the New York Times.

A new analysis suggests the B.1.1.7 strain of SARS-CoV-2 could be deadlier than previous ones, according to the Guardian.

NPR reports Merck is halting the development of its two candidate SARS-CoV-2 vaccines following disappointing Phase 1 results.

In PLOS this week: gene mutation linked to inherited venous thrombosis, lncRNA patterns in the Asian tiger mosquito, and more.