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On the Radar

This post has been updated to reflect that the flu virus is an RNA, not DNA, virus.

Flu researchers are examining the genes of the new bird flu strain that has sickened a handful of people in China, Reuters reports. The new flu strain, H7N9, has infected nine people in China, killing three of them. While Reuters notes that the flu does not appear to be able to pass from person to person, flu researchers are examining its genes, obtained from patient samples, to gauge its potential as a threat. The flu virus is an RNA virus.

"The virus has to a certain extent already adapted to mammalian species and to humans, so from that point of view it's worrisome," Ab Osterhaus, from the Erasmus Medical Centre in The Netherlands, tells Reuters. "Really we should keep a very close eye on this."

The Scan

Gap in COVAX Doses

BBC News reports that COVAX is experiencing a vaccine shortfall, as the Serum Institute of India has paused exports.

Sanofi, GSK Report Promising Results

The Wall Street Journal reports that the candidate SARS-CoV-2 vaccine from Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline has had encouraging early results.

Influence of Luck

The New York Times examines how the US avoided variant-fueled increases in COVID-19 cases.

PLOS Papers on Retina GWAS, Hantaan Virus, COVID-19 Phenome-Wide Association Study

In PLOS this week: genome-wide association study of retinal morphology, analysis of hantaan virus found in a mouse, and more.