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Stanford University School of Medicine's Ben Barres and his colleagues identified a molecular on-switch that catalyzes the transformation of immature brain cells into myelin-producing oligodendrocytes. In a study to be published in today's Neuron, the scientists found that the microRNA molecule miR-219 is found at high levels only in oligodendrocytes and that it's necessary to induce these brain cells' precursors to mature.

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UK Royal Statistical Society is organizing a working group to develop guidelines for assessing COVID-19 tests, the Guardian reports.

The Washington Post reports that the White House chief of staff has asked the US Food and Drug Administration to justify the stricter standards it is seeking for a coronavirus vaccine.

President Donald Trump's "good genes" comment raises eugenics concerns, CNN reports.

In PLOS this week: genetic analysis of tremor condition, analysis of a West and Central African tree used in traditional medicine, and more.