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Remove This, Remove That, and (Bam!) It's a New Organism

With a team of 20 scientists, J. Craig Venter made an artificial chromosome 580,000 base pairs long, and with 381 genes, reports The Guardian. The sequence is based on Mycoplasma genitalium but the researchers removed one-fifth of its genome, leaving only what was necessary for it to live. The team calls the organism Mycoplasma laboratorium and they have applied for a patent, adds the news report.

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.