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So That's What You've Been Doing All This Time

Following a recent meeting at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, a perspectives piece by a group of researchers appearing it this month's Genes and Development gives a definition for epigenetics, saying that "an epigenetic trait is a stably heritable phenotype resulting from changes in a chromosome without alterations in the DNA sequence." They also postulate that there are three types of signals that work in concert to establish an epigenetic state: the "epigenator" signal from the environment, the "epigenetic initiator" that responds to the epigenator and find the proper chromatin region, and the "epigenetic maintainer" that upholds the chromatin environment.

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.