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In Science this week, a team led by Stanford University's Carlos Bustamante report that an amino acid change causes blond hair in Solomon Islanders. Naturally blond hair is usually only found in Europe and Oceania, but in this study, the team identifies an arginine-to-cysteine change at a highly conserved residue in TYRP1 as a major determinant of the trait in people from the Solomon Islands.

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According to BBC News, the global vaccine-sharing initiative has sent its first shipment, which arrived in Ghana this week.

CNN reports that a US Food and Drug Administration document says Johnson & Johnson's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine meets the requirements to receive an Emergency Use Authorization.

Researchers in France are developing a new, fast test for SARS-CoV-2 that initial testing indicates may be highly accurate, the Guardian says.

In Cell this week: analysis of fitness patterns among SARS-CoV-2 isolates, single-cell transcriptome analysis of immune features in COVID-19, and more.