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Knowing Your Enemy

The influenza A H1N1 virus contains gene segments from human, bird, and pig flu viruses as well as ones similar to Eurasian swine flu, as our sister site GenomeWeb Daily News, and a few others, reported on Friday when an online early Science study came out. This mixture suggests that the virus has been circulating undetected for years, probably in pigs, and the CDC's Nancy Cox said that this new study shows that better monitoring of flu in animal populations is needed. (An upcoming in the July issue of Scientific American concurs that animal surveillance, not human, should be the "first line of defense.") Cox adds that knowing which gene segments the virus contains will make producing a vaccine easier. To that end, the HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that the department will allocate $1 billion of existing funds toward ingredients for an H1N1 flu vaccine. Three companies, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, and Sanofi-Pasteur, will receive most of the money to make antigens and adjuvants, $288.8 million, $181.1 million, and $190.6 million, respectively, according to Science Insider.

The Scan

Another Resignation

According to the Wall Street Journal, a third advisory panel member has resigned following the US Food and Drug Administration's approval of an Alzheimer's disease drug.

Novavax Finds Its Vaccine Effective

Reuters reports Novavax's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19.

Can't Be Used

The US Food and Drug Administration says millions of vaccine doses made at an embattled manufacturing facility cannot be used, the New York Times reports.

PLOS Papers on Frozen Shoulder GWAS, Epstein-Barr Effects on Immune Cell Epigenetics, More

In PLOS this week: genome-wide association study of frozen shoulder, epigenetic patterns of Epstein-Barr-infected B lymphocyte cells, and more.