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The First Step of Evolution

Ken Dill, a pharmaceutical chemist affiliated with UCSF's QB3, the California Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research, has published research in PNAS that presents a testable model for how enzymatic catalysts formed the first complex living systems on Earth. This foundation for life was built, he says, on chemical interactions that can be explained in terms of the cooperating and competing forces of evolutionary biology.

The Scan

CDC Calls Delta "Variant of Concern"

CNN reports the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now considers the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 to be a "variant of concern."

From FDA to Venture Capital

Former FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn is taking a position at a venture capital firm, leading some ethicists to raise eyebrows, according to the Washington Post.

Consent Questions

Nature News writes that there are questions whether informed consent was obtained for some submissions to a database of Y-chromosome profiles.

Cell Studies on Multimodal Single-Cell Analysis, Coronaviruses in Bats, Urban Microbiomes

In Cell this week: approach to analyze multimodal single-cell genomic data, analysis of bat coronaviruses, and more.