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Harvard University's X. Sunney Xie and his colleagues present what they call a "truly digital" RNA-seq approach. "Following reverse transcription, a large set of barcode sequences is added in excess, and nearly every cDNA molecule is uniquely labeled by random attachment of barcode sequences to both ends," Xie et al. write in a paper published online in advance in PNAS this week.

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Nature News writes that additional details about the UK plan for an agency to support high-risk, high-reward science are needed.

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized Johnson & Johnson's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

The Wall Street Journal writes new studies are giving glimpses into the origins of SARS-CoV-2.

In PLOS this week: analysis of Plasmodium population structure, qPCR assay to diagnose scabies, and more.