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The work is part of a CDC project to identify novel mutations in the virus and better understand its prevalence and patterns of transmission throughout the US.

What's in the US?

The Washington Post reports there is no evidence that the rise in COVID-19 cases in the US is due to a particular strain, but notes scientists' ability to detect variants is limited. 

The partners have already identified cases in the US of the novel, highly transmissible SARS-CoV-2 variant that was first reported in the UK.

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official tells CNN the agency plans to boost the number of SARS-CoV-2 samples that are sequenced in the US.

The bill, which Congress overwhelmingly approved last week, also includes additional funding for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The bill, which was overwhelming passed by both the Senate and the House, would boost the National Institutes of Health's budget by $1.25 billion.

Two former political appointees at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describe the sidelining of the agency in the New York Times.

According to the New York Times, President-elect Joe Biden is nominating Xavier Becerra to lead the Department of Health and Human Services.

The test originally received Emergency Use Authorization in February for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid in upper and lower respiratory specimens.

The agency said people can potentially shorten quarantine time and reduce travel-associated contagion risk with PCR or antigen SARS-CoV-2 testing.


Imperial College London researchers are shifting away from testing a COVID-19 vaccine to focus on combating newly emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants, the Independent says.

According to the Associated Press, genetic genealogy has helped law enforcement officials identify an unknown victim of the Green River Killer.

In PNAS this week: target to reduce chemotherapy-induced cardiac injury, tool finds ancient endogenous RNA viruses, and more.

Moderna reports its vaccine is effective against new SARS-CoV-2 strains, though it is also developing a booster, according to the New York Times.