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Richard Grant at Confessions of a (Former) Lab Rat, discusses explaining to relatives and friends why it is he does what he does. He writes that while it's difficult for researchers to merely explain what it is that they do "intelligibly, to the questioner's satisfaction," but "I further suspect, in the biological sciences at least, the proportion who are able to answer the question 'why?' is much, much smaller."

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The US Food and Drug Administration is to announce stricter standards for emergency authorizations of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, reports the Washington Post.

Bloomberg reports the budget of Operation Warp Speed is actually $18 billion, higher than the number typically cited.

The Associated Press reports Johnson & Johnson is starting a late-stage clinical trial of its candidate SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

In Genome Research this week: genomic analysis reveals role of super-spreaders in SARS-CoV-2, epigenetic drivers of cancer, and more.