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The US government has OK'd a human study using a therapy derived from embryonic stem cells to treat Stargardt disease, a rare disease that causes loss of vision, says the AP's Malcolm Ritter. This is only the second embryonic stem cell study the government has ever approved in humans. It will be conducted by California biotech company Advanced Cell Technology, and should begin early in 2011.

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Moderna reports its vaccine is effective against new SARS-CoV-2 strains, though it is also developing a booster, according to the New York Times.

A new analysis suggests the B.1.1.7 strain of SARS-CoV-2 could be deadlier than previous ones, according to the Guardian.

NPR reports Merck is halting the development of its two candidate SARS-CoV-2 vaccines following disappointing Phase 1 results.

In PLOS this week: gene mutation linked to inherited venous thrombosis, lncRNA patterns in the Asian tiger mosquito, and more.