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Useful and Dangerous

For the past few months, a debate has raged on the pros and cons of publishing research that could be used in a dangerous manner and, in particular, whether a paper on how to make the H5N1 flu transmissible in mammals should be published in its entirety or with certain parts redacted. Nature, this week, published the complete study. And now, the US government is seeking comment from university officials on how best to deal with such papers and studies in the future, reports ScienceInsider's David Malakoff. The government recently released rules for dual-use research requiring that federal agencies systematically review the potential risks of studies involving 15 high-risk pathogens and toxins like H5N1, Malakoff says. "The reviews are designed to reduce the risks associated with dual use research of concern that could be used for good or harm," he adds. "The policy also requires the funders, scientists, and institutions to work together to develop plans for mitigating risk, including possibly altering the research or withholding research results." Though the policy only applies to federal agencies at this time, the government is seeking to make it applicable at the university level.

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.