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Under Control

At Bitesize Bio, Shoba Anantha discusses how UNG can be useful in PCR analysis. Amplicons generated during PCR have dUTPs incorporated in them, Anantha notes, and UDG, the enzyme encoded in UNG, targets those dUTPs. If those amplicons are a source of contamination, using UDG before any other PCR reaction will target and make those sites abasic so that they will not "serve as good templates for Taq polymerase" while the original template will remain untouched. Anantha wonders whether UNG would be useful in real-time PCR and says that "false-positive result is often not from amplicon contamination, but due to primary sample DNA contamination" and says UNG won't be effective in that case.

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.