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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

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.