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Taking One for the Team

Researchers at Boston University have discovered that a small number of drug-resistant "Good Samaritan" bacteria may help other, more vulnerable microbes survive antibiotic treatments, even if they themselves don't, according to Scientific American's Melinda Wenner Moyer. The researchers exposed a culture of E. coli to increasing amounts of antibiotics over time and saw that, although the entire population was doing well despite the presence of the drug, only a few individual microbes were actually drug resistant, Moyer says. It turns out that the resistant bugs were secreting indole, a molecule which stunted their own growth but helped the rest of the population survive. The researchers hope that this finding could lead scientists to develop better antibiotics, perhaps by blocking indole, Moyer adds.

The Scan

CDC Calls Delta "Variant of Concern"

CNN reports the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now considers the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 to be a "variant of concern."

From FDA to Venture Capital

Former FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn is taking a position at a venture capital firm, leading some ethicists to raise eyebrows, according to the Washington Post.

Consent Questions

Nature News writes that there are questions whether informed consent was obtained for some submissions to a database of Y-chromosome profiles.

Cell Studies on Multimodal Single-Cell Analysis, Coronaviruses in Bats, Urban Microbiomes

In Cell this week: approach to analyze multimodal single-cell genomic data, analysis of bat coronaviruses, and more.