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A New Way to Classify Bacteria

Jonathan Eisen is happy to have published a new paper in Genome Biology, and Larry Moran thinks it's a good one. The authors, including Martin Wu, have written a software tool called AMPHORA that "can be used to build phylogenetic trees based on concatenated alignments of housekeeping proteins and also for metagenomic phylotyping using a diversity of protein markers." The gold standard of bacterial phylogeny, the SSU rRNA gene, isn't all that great for classifying bacterial species, says Moran. Eisen's method "resolves many groups that are unresolvable using the SSU rRNA tree. In some cases this tree reveals species that have been incorrectly assigned to higher taxa," he writes at Sandwalk.

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.