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This week in PLoS ONE, a pair of New Zealand researchers attempted to predict co-variation between genes based on phylogeny. The duo applied generalized linear models to try to determine the functions of genes in a handful of prokaryotic organisms using gene tree branch length information. Though the accuracy varied with gene ontology group, the researchers reported that the approach was especially accurate for some genes, including those involved in translation.

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Moderna reports its vaccine is effective against new SARS-CoV-2 strains, though it is also developing a booster, according to the New York Times.

A new analysis suggests the B.1.1.7 strain of SARS-CoV-2 could be deadlier than previous ones, according to the Guardian.

NPR reports Merck is halting the development of its two candidate SARS-CoV-2 vaccines following disappointing Phase 1 results.

In PLOS this week: gene mutation linked to inherited venous thrombosis, lncRNA patterns in the Asian tiger mosquito, and more.