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Johns Hopkins and Kimmel Cancer Center s LigAmp Tool, US National Center for Biotechnology Information s dbSNP build 123 and HapMap, and Perlegen


Johns Hopkins’ department of pathology and Kimmel Cancer Center researchers said this week they had developed a molecular tool useful for pinpointing single mutations in particular cells surrounded by thousands more, the university said in a statement this week. The LigAmp tool “essentially filters background ‘noise’ caused by normal cells and reveals specific mutations,” the statement said.

The US National Center for Biotechnology Information announced this week that it had completed and released dbSNP build 123, according to an NCBI press release. The new version of the database contains 1.5 million human SNP assays from Perlegen, which produced 426,000 new refSNPs, for a total of 8.7 million non-redundant SNPs. Build 123 is “synced” with the September release of HapMap genotype frequency data, said NCBI.


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The Scan

Booster for At-Risk

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for people 65 and older or at increased risk.

Preprints OK to Mention Again

Nature News reports the Australian Research Council has changed its new policy and now allows preprints to be cited in grant applications.

Hundreds of Millions More to Share

The US plans to purchase and donate 500 million additional SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses, according to the Washington Post.

Nature Papers Examine Molecular Program Differences Influencing Neural Cells, Population History of Polynesia

In Nature this week: changes in molecular program during embryonic development leads to different neural cell types, and more.