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The Salk Institute's Leslie Orgel, the theoretical chemist who proposed that RNA could have been the orginal bearer of genetic information, died last Saturday from pancreatic cancer. Along with Francis Crick, Orgel suggested extraterrestrials seeded life on Earth through panspermia, though there is inadequate evidence for this idea. Orgel was also known for his Second Rule, which says, "Evolution is cleverer than you are." Orgel was 80.

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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.