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This week's issue of Nature has a host of news and features linked to today's 50th anniversary of the former Soviet Union's launch of the Sputnik satellite. After the country's dissolution and economic collapse in the 1990s, Russian science has struggled to extract itself from bad policy, low wages, and research elite that makes for a less than vibrant scientific community.

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The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified a small group of breakthrough COVID-19 cases, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The New York Times reports that the US Department of Defense is to use genetic genealogy approaches to identify the remains of unknown soldiers.

Vox and Nature discuss the importance of preparing for the next pandemic.

In Nature this week: comparison of five circulating tumor DNA assays, resequencing analysis of lettuce gives insight into its domestication, and more.