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New Genome Institute Opens in Minsk

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Academy of Sciences of Belarus (NASB) this week launched a new institute to provide genetic testing and research services in Minsk.

The new National Center of Genome Biotechnology will provide services for determining the presence of genetically modified ingredients in food raw materials and agricultural products, to identify DNA markers for certification of crop varieties, and to identify the genes responsible for valuable characteristics and diseases in animals and individual human traits.

According to the state-run Belarusian Telegraph Agency, the center opened yesterday at the Institute of Genetics and Cytology at the NASB. It will support government agencies including the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, the Sport and Tourism Ministry, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.

The National Center of Genome Biotechnology, which has received certification for ISO quality management standards, will reach its full testing capabilities in about a year, when it will provide at least 6,944 tests per year.

The Scan

Two J&J Doses

Johnson & Johnson says two doses of its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine provides increased protection against symptomatic COVID-19, CNN reports.

Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Response in Kids

The Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in a lower-dose format appears to generate an immune response among children, according to the Washington Post.

Chicken Changes to Prevent Disease

The Guardian writes that researchers are looking at gene editing chickens to help prevent future pandemics.

PNAS Papers on Siberian Dog Ancestry, Insect Reproduction, Hippocampal Neurogenesis

In PNAS this week: ancestry and admixture among Siberian dogs, hormone role in fruit fly reproduction, and more.