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Amazon Test Authorized

Amazon has received authorization for a COVID-19 test from the US Food and Drug Administration, the Verge reports.

According to 360Dx, the Amazon Real-Time RT-PCR Test for Detecting SARS-CoV-2 was developed by its subsidiary STS Lab and is a modification of a test made by BGI Genomics. The real-time PCR test detects the viral ORF1ab gene from self-collected nasal swabs, performed either at home or under the supervision of a healthcare professional, it says.

The Verge adds that Amazon plans to use the test for its onsite COVID-19 monitoring program. As part of its employee-screening program — which the Verge says is voluntary — employees will be given testing appointments every 14 days. CNBC notes that that is in line with the company's previously stated goal of testing most of its front-line workers for COVID-19 every two weeks.

It adds it is unclear whether Amazon plans to make the test available beyond its employee testing program or commercially.

The Scan

Possibly as Transmissible

Officials in the UK say the B.1.617.2 variant of SARS-CoV-2 may be as transmitted as easily as the B.1.1.7 variant that was identified in the UK, New Scientist reports.

Gene Therapy for SCID 'Encouraging'

The Associated Press reports that a gene therapy appears to be effective in treating severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome.

To Watch the Variants

Scientists told US lawmakers that SARS-CoV-2 variants need to be better monitored, the New York Times reports.

Nature Papers Present Nautilus Genome, Tool to Analyze Single-Cell Data, More

In Nature this week: nautilus genome gives peek into its evolution, computational tool to analyze single-cell ATAC-seq data, and more.