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NEW YORK — The US Food and Drug Administration on Monday granted Emergency Use Authorization for the Mayo Clinic's PCR-based SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic assay.

According to the FDA, the SARS-CoV-2 Molecular Detection Assay is designed to detect RNA from the virus' nucleocapsid and ORF1ab genes in upper and lower respiratory specimens including nasopharyngeal swabs, throat swabs, nasal swabs, sputum, and tracheal secretions.

RNA is isolated using BioMérieux's easyMAG and EMAG extraction instruments, and the test runs on Roche's LightCycler 480 version 1.5.1.62.

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The UK has given emergency authorization for Pfizer and BioNTech's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, the Associated Press reports.

A US advisory committee says healthcare workers and nursing home residents should be prioritized to receive a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, according to the Financial Times.

The Wall Street Journal reports North Korean hackers have targeted half a dozen companies developing SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

In Cell this week: long-term SARS-CoV-2 shedding, examination of the effects of a coronavirus spike protein mutation, and more.

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