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Ooh, a Methyl Group

At Gene Expression, Razib Khan considers the rise of epigenetics. Using Google Scholar, he searched to see how often the term was searched for between 1999 and 2009, as compared to "sexual selection" and "genetic drift," all concepts that he has considered to be "scientific deus ex machina." In addition, Khan searched for those terms in Google Blog Search, though he notes that there was a concurrent rise in the number of blogs during those years. Epigenetics has indeed had an increase in popularity, but sexual selection is still popular as well. "Articles about sexual selection offer up the opportunity for nice visuals. In contrast epigenetics gives you the chance to illustrate a methyl group," Khan notes. He adds that the science on epigenetic is just taking off but that he'd "bet that epigenetics doesn't overturn everything we know, rather, it will modulate on the margins."

The Scan

Another Resignation

According to the Wall Street Journal, a third advisory panel member has resigned following the US Food and Drug Administration's approval of an Alzheimer's disease drug.

Novavax Finds Its Vaccine Effective

Reuters reports Novavax's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19.

Can't Be Used

The US Food and Drug Administration says millions of vaccine doses made at an embattled manufacturing facility cannot be used, the New York Times reports.

PLOS Papers on Frozen Shoulder GWAS, Epstein-Barr Effects on Immune Cell Epigenetics, More

In PLOS this week: genome-wide association study of frozen shoulder, epigenetic patterns of Epstein-Barr-infected B lymphocyte cells, and more.