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Scientists Unveil Mastodon Family Tree

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute sequenced the complete mitochondrial genome of the extinct mastodon, an ancestor of elephants that diverged about 26 million years ago. Their data, published in PLoS Biology, allowed them to estimate the time of divergence of African elephants from Asian elephants and mammoths to be 7.6 million years ago, and the time of divergence between mammoths and Asian elephants to be 6.7 million years ago. These dates, they say, are similar to the divergence times for humans, chimps, and gorillas, which might mean that speciation for both had a common cause.

The Scan

Vaccine Update Recommended

A US Food and Drug Administration panel recommends booster vaccines be updated to target Omicron, CNBC reports.

US to Make More Vaccines for Monkeypox Available

The US is to make nearly 300,000 vaccine doses available in the coming weeks to stem the spread of human monkeypox virus, according to NPR.

Sentence Appealed

The Associated Press reports that Swedish prosecutors are appealing the sentence given to a surgeon once lauded for transplanting synthetic tracheas but then convicted of causing bodily harm.

Genome Biology Papers on COVID-19 Effector Genes, Virtual ChIP-seq, scDART

In Genome Biology this week: proposed COVID-19 effector genes, method to predict transcription factor binding patterns, and more.