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Telomeres and Your "Genetic Hand"

More than 130,000 Kaiser Permanente members in Northern California are sharing their spit to have their genomes scanned, reports the New York Times. This study aims to "uncover the genetic roots of chronic disease and, perhaps, to find out why some people live longer than others," the Times says, as participants' genetic information will be linked to their medical information (though their names will be removed from the data). In addition, the University of California, San Francisco's Elizabeth Blackburn will be studying a subset of the Kaiser Permanente population. Her lab will be measuring the length of the telomeres present on the chromosomes. "Telomere length is more reflective of things that happen in your life than the genetic hand you are born with," Blackburn says.

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.