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In Science Translational Medicine this week, investigators at Stanford University School of Medicine show that miR-21 "blocks abdominal aortic aneurysm development and nicotine-augmented expansion." Because of this, the authors suggest modulation of its expression "shows potential as a new therapeutic option to limit AAA [abdominal aortic aneurysm] expansion and vascular disease progression."

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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.