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Leslie Orgel, RNA World Theorist Dies

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.

The Scan

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.