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The (Unlikely) Weapon of Choice

Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted tips to prepare for a zombie apocalypse. But when zombies attack the lab ('Better safe than sorry,' right CDC Assistant Surgeon General Ali Khan?), a seemingly mundane piece of equipment might save the day. In a first-person narrative posted to LabLit this week, author Nigel Eastmond chronicles an unnamed protagonist's triumphant victory over his living-dead labmates using an unlikely weapon — an improperly balanced centrifuge. While zombies — "about 20 groaning scientists, admins, and students in stained lab coats," to be precise — closed in on him in the biology lab, the protagonist realized that he had to take action, and fast:

Dashing away from the living dead, I came up with the simplest and most brilliant idea. What is the most dangerous piece of equipment in your average biological lab? An unbalanced ultracentrifuge, obviously.

Remember, Eastmond writes, just like your Biol 201 professor warned: "an unbalanced centrifuge is incredibly dangerous." And in the event of a zombie attack, it could be incredibly handy. Be sure the read Eastmond's full "report on the success and failure of the various means a lab worker might have at their disposal for stopping a Category 2 zombie attack," here.

The Scan

Two J&J Doses

Johnson & Johnson says two doses of its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine provides increased protection against symptomatic COVID-19, CNN reports.

Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Response in Kids

The Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in a lower-dose format appears to generate an immune response among children, according to the Washington Post.

Chicken Changes to Prevent Disease

The Guardian writes that researchers are looking at gene editing chickens to help prevent future pandemics.

PNAS Papers on Siberian Dog Ancestry, Insect Reproduction, Hippocampal Neurogenesis

In PNAS this week: ancestry and admixture among Siberian dogs, hormone role in fruit fly reproduction, and more.