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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

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.