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Work out of Jonathan Eisen's lab describes a tool they created to automatically compare gene sequences of small-subunit ribosomal RNA (ss-rRNA). Called ss-rRNA taxonomy and alignment pipeline (STAP), it can generate both high-quality multiple sequence alignments and phylogenetic trees, and can be used to study microbial species diversity in environmental samples. The paper was published in PLoS ONE.

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According to BBC News, the global vaccine-sharing initiative has sent its first shipment, which arrived in Ghana this week.

CNN reports that a US Food and Drug Administration document says Johnson & Johnson's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine meets the requirements to receive an Emergency Use Authorization.

Researchers in France are developing a new, fast test for SARS-CoV-2 that initial testing indicates may be highly accurate, the Guardian says.

In Cell this week: analysis of fitness patterns among SARS-CoV-2 isolates, single-cell transcriptome analysis of immune features in COVID-19, and more.