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In Minks, In People

Northern Denmark is on lockdown as a mutated SARS-CoV-2 strain initially identified in the mink population there was also detected in a dozen people, according to the Associated Press. Denmark, it notes, is home to 1,139 mink farms.

Denmark previously announced that it would be culling its mink population to prevent the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 strain, which has a mutation affecting its spike protein, the Guardian reports. "There's a risk that this mutated virus is so different from the others that we'd have to put new things in a vaccine and therefore [the mutation] would slam us all in the whole world back to the start," Kåre Mølbak from Denmark's State Serum Institute tells the Guardian.

However, Mike Ryan, the director of the World Health Organization's emergency program, tells the AP that there is no evidence right now that this variant leads the virus to behave differently.

Still, Wim van der Poel, a Dutch virologist and zoonosis expert, notes at the Guardian that having the virus in a reservoir such as minks should be avoided.

The Scan

Looking for Omicron

NPR reports that SARS-CoV-2 testing in the US has gotten better but also that some experts say more needs to be done to better track the Omicron variant.

Holmes Alleges Abuse

The Associated Press reports that Theranos' Elizabeth Holmes has testified at her wire fraud trial that her business and romantic partner abused her.

Bit More Diverse, But More to Do

While Black and Hispanic patients are more likely to participate in cancer clinical trials than previously, they are still underrepresented, according to US News & World Report.

PNAS Papers on Yeast Gene Silencing, Zika Virus Inhibition, Immunoglobulin Hypermutation

In PNAS this week: gene silencing in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, possible neuroprotective role for SHFL in a mouse model of Zika virus infection, and more.