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The Sequence of Weed

Kevin McKernan's company Medicinal Genomics announced that it has a draft assembly of the marijuana genome, reports Bloomberg. The data is to be posted to the Amazon EC2 cloud. According to Nature's News blog, the Cannabis sativa genome is estimated to be about 400 million bases, or three times that of Arabidopsis thaliana. McKernan, who was previously at Life Technologies, started Medicinal Genomics "to find ways to maximize the cannabis plant's therapeutic benefits and minimize its psychoactive effects," Bloomberg says.

"This is the beginning of a more scientific approach to the genetics of the species," adds Richard Gibbs from Baylor College of Medicine. "This is not really about marijuana; it's about pharmacology."

And, as Nature's News blog notes, the pot samples were prepared for sequencing at a lab in Amsterdam.

The Scan

Another Resignation

According to the Wall Street Journal, a third advisory panel member has resigned following the US Food and Drug Administration's approval of an Alzheimer's disease drug.

Novavax Finds Its Vaccine Effective

Reuters reports Novavax's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19.

Can't Be Used

The US Food and Drug Administration says millions of vaccine doses made at an embattled manufacturing facility cannot be used, the New York Times reports.

PLOS Papers on Frozen Shoulder GWAS, Epstein-Barr Effects on Immune Cell Epigenetics, More

In PLOS this week: genome-wide association study of frozen shoulder, epigenetic patterns of Epstein-Barr-infected B lymphocyte cells, and more.