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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

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.