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A New Update

A new assembly of the human genome is out. The NCBI Insights blog notes that this iteration, GRCh38, is the first major release in four years.

Methagora, Nature Methods' blog, adds that this build contains fewer gaps — the previous build, GRCh37, had 357 gaps. While GRCh38 still has gaps, Methagora notes it has spanned a couple of notable ones, such as ones associated with the MRC1 locus and with the CCL3L1/CCL4L1 genes.

This new version is also the first to include sequence information about centromeres, which are notoriously tricky spots to sequence as they are highly repetitive. The centromere sequence information included is a model of an average centromere.

"This will be a major boon to evolutionary studies of human populations and to the many groups doing mechanistic work on human centromeres and kinetochores," says Stanford University's Aaron Straight tells Methagora. "Finally, now we can stop saying 'mind the gap'."

The Scan

WHO Seeks Booster Pause

According to CNN, the World Health Organization is calling for a moratorium on administering SARS-CoV-2 vaccine boosters until more of the world has received initial doses.

For Those Long Legs

With its genome sequence and subsequent RNAi analyses, researchers have examined the genes that give long legs to daddy longlegs, New Scientist says.

September Plans

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration is aiming for early September for full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Nucleic Acids Research Papers on Targeting DNA Damage Response, TSMiner, VarSAn

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: genetic changes affecting DNA damage response inhibitor response, "time-series miner" approach, and more.