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Green Plastic from Bugs

Korean researchers are developing E. coli to produce polylactic acid, a compound that is touted as a greener alternative to plastic, says The Economist. The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology's Lee Sang-yup and his colleagues have been able to make PLA in one step, rather than the two-step process, by splicing in genes from Clostridium propionicum, Cupriavidus necator, and various species of Pseudomonas. "The result is a set of synthetic metabolic pathways—ones that do not exist in nature—which turn the polymer out in satisfyingly large quantities," writes The Economist.

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.