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In the PNAS Early Edition this week, researchers at Michigan State University and their colleagues show that Pack-Mutator-like transposable elements "specifically acquire GC-rich fragments and preferentially insert into the 5' end of genes" in Arabidopsis, which they say "may influence the conformation of chromatin, the expression level of genes, as well as the recombination rate." These Pack-Mutator-like transposable elements — or Pack-MULEs — "form independent, GC-rich tr

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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.