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In this week's issue of PNAS, Belgian scientists looked at duplication events in flowering plants to find that the majority of the independent genome duplications coincide in time with the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event, which is thought to have wiped out the dinosaurs as well as many species of plants. Those with double genomes, they argue, had a better chance to survive.

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The Financial Times reports the US bolstering its ability to track SARS-CoV-2 alterations.

The New York Times reports that Cedars-Sinai researchers have uncovered a new strain of SARS-CoV-2 in Southern California.

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: pan-cancer atlas focus on miRNA biogenesis mutations, methylation analysis of pig skeletal muscles, and more.

President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Eric Lander to serve as director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Associated Press says.