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This week the Engineering Life conference kicks off in London, and this article from The Observer describes synthetic biology, which it calls "one of the most audacious, and controversial, scientific ideas of the 21st century." Scientists in the article say the field will have to be "properly monitored," and they point out that genetically modified foods are based on similar concepts.

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According to BBC News, the global vaccine-sharing initiative has sent its first shipment, which arrived in Ghana this week.

CNN reports that a US Food and Drug Administration document says Johnson & Johnson's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine meets the requirements to receive an Emergency Use Authorization.

Researchers in France are developing a new, fast test for SARS-CoV-2 that initial testing indicates may be highly accurate, the Guardian says.

In Cell this week: analysis of fitness patterns among SARS-CoV-2 isolates, single-cell transcriptome analysis of immune features in COVID-19, and more.