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Bill to Ease Post-Conviction DNA Testing Access

The state senate in Oregon unanimously passed a bill that would make it easier for people convicted of crimes to initiate DNA testing, the Associated Press reports. It adds the courts in Oregon deny the majority of post-conviction motions for DNA testing.

According to Steven Wax, legal director of the Oregon Innocence Project, which backed the bill, if the bill becomes law, it would enable those convicted to know what evidence remains in police inventory. That way, he tells the AP, they and their lawyers would know if what they are petitioning to have tested is still available. In addition, Wax tells the AP that the bill would also remove a requirement he called "illogical" that petitioners demonstrate innocence before DNA testing can take place.

The AP adds that Oregon Department of Justice officials say the bill's goal is commendable, but relies on untested language.

The bill now goes before the Oregon House of Representatives, according to the AP. 

The Scan

More Boosters for US

Following US Food and Drug Administration authorization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has endorsed booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, the Washington Post writes.

From a Pig

A genetically modified pig kidney was transplanted into a human without triggering an immune response, Reuters reports.

For Privacy's Sake

Wired reports that more US states are passing genetic privacy laws.

Science Paper on How Poaching Drove Evolution in African Elephants

In Science this week: poaching has led to the rapid evolution of tuskless African elephants.