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The Worm that Taught Us the Term 'Whalefall'

An article in Wired reports on advances in scientists' genetic understanding of Osedax, a recently discovered family of "mouthless worms that live in the bones of dead whales." A study published this week in BMC Biology led by Robert Vrijenhoek from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute scanned genes from several species of the worms and indicates that there may be "at least 12 more as-yet-unidentified lineages of Osedax," which appear to have had a common ancestor 45 million years ago. "But Osedax might have emerged even earlier, during the Cretaceous, and moved to whales when marine dinosaurs died out," the article adds.

The Scan

Not Kept "Clean and Sanitary"

A Food and Drug Administration inspection uncovered problems with cross contamination at an Emergent BioSolutions facility, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Resumption Recommendation Expected

The Washington Post reports that US officials are expected to give the go-ahead to resume using Johnson & Johnson's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

Canada's New Budget on Science

Science writes that Canada's new budget includes funding for the life sciences, but not as much as hoped for investigator-driven research.

Nature Papers Examine Single-Cell, Multi-Omic SARS-CoV-2 Response; Flatfish Sequences; More

In Nature this week: single-cell, multi-omics analysis provides insight into COVID-19 pathogenesis, evolution of flatfish, and more.