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Sandra Porter writes that the US Department of Labor is working on defining what skills a biotechnology technician needs -- and that this question isn't as simple as it sounds. "Complicating this question is that many areas of biotechnology require somewhat different skills. Antibody work requires one set, plant or animal tissue culture, another; fermentation, another; manufacturing, another; DNA sequencing, yet another set.

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A survey by Nature finds that most researchers want scientific meetings to continue virtually or with a virtual component, even after the pandemic ends.

Bloomberg reports that the B.1.351 SARS-CoV-2 viral variant could prompt the formulation of better vaccines.

Certain blood proteins may be able to distinguish COVID-19 patients who will become critically ill from those who will not, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

In Genome Biology this week: algorithm to assess regulatory features, approach to integrate multiple single-cell RNA-seq datasets, and more.