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On the Search for Elvis

Sandra Porter has two posts up on how to use Blast to search for a particular protein sequence and to identify unknown proteins. In the first one, she walks through what Blast is (it's always good to review); the BLOSUM 62 scoring matrix that evaluates how well residues align; and finally, as an example, she searches for "Elvis" in a protein sequence. In the second post, Porter goes into more detail on scoring and talks about E values, which are used to normalize results. "If an E value is low, say below 0.01, then the match is significant. If the E value is higher, the match might still be significant, especially if you have a short sequence," she writes.

The Scan

Not as High as Hoped

The Associated Press says initial results from a trial of CureVac's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine suggests low effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.

Finding Freshwater DNA

A new research project plans to use eDNA sampling to analyze freshwater rivers across the world, the Guardian reports.

Rise in Payments

Kaiser Health News investigates the rise of payments made by medical device companies to surgeons that could be in violation of anti-kickback laws.

Nature Papers Present Ginkgo Biloba Genome Assembly, Collection of Polygenic Indexes, More

In Nature this week: a nearly complete Ginkgo biloba genome assembly, polygenic indexes for dozens of phenotypes, and more.