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In an article published online in advance in Science this week, Emily Balskus and Christopher Walsh at Harvard Medical School describe the "genetic and molecular basis for sunscreen biosynthesis in cyanobacteria." They show that a mycosporine-like amino acid biosynthetic gene cluster generates four enzymes in vitro. "In addition to clarifying the origin of the MAAs, these efforts have revealed two unprecedented enzymatic strategies for imine formation," Balskus and Walsh write.

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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.