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'Played By Humans, Scored By Nature'

First Foldit, then Phylo, now EteRNA. Investigators at Carnegie Mellon University and Stanford University have launched "an online video game that challenges players to design new ways to fold RNA molecules," reports The New York Times. EteRNA, which was designed for non-scientists, allows players to "design elaborate [RNA] structures including knots, lattices and switches," the Times reports, adding that the game will go beyond simulations, in that "each week the best designs created by game players and chosen by the gaming community will be synthesized at Stanford." Carnegie Mellon's Adrien Treuille, who was part of the team that created Foldit, tells the Times that EteRNA "is like putting a molecular chess game in people’s hands at a massive level. ... I think we are democratizing science." Users must register for a free account on the EteRNA homepage, which greets visitors with the message "played by humans, scored by nature."

The Scan

For Better Odds

Bloomberg reports that a child has been born following polygenic risk score screening as an embryo.

Booster Decision Expected

The New York Times reports the US Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine this week for individuals over 65 or at high risk.

Snipping HIV Out

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Temple University researchers are to test a gene-editing approach for treating HIV.

PLOS Papers on Cancer Risk Scores, Typhoid Fever in Colombia, Streptococcus Protection

In PLOS this week: application of cancer polygenic risk scores across ancestries, genetic diversity of typhoid fever-causing Salmonella, and more.