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Delta's Reach in the US

The Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 now accounts for 83 percent of all sequenced COVID-19 cases in the US, CNBC reports.

It adds that Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told Congress Tuesday that this is a dramatic rise from earlier this month when the Delta variant accounted for about half of sequenced COVID-19 cases in the US. She added that in some parts of the US, especially where vaccination rates are low, that percentage is even higher, Business Insider reports.

Walensky also noted that there has been an increase in COVID-19 fatalities, rising to an average 239 deaths per day, according to CNBC. Most deaths, she said, are among unvaccinated individuals, Stat News adds.

The Delta variant is thought to be even more transmissible than the Alpha variant that was itself found to be more transmissible that the original virus, CNBC adds. "The reason it's so formidable is the fact that it has the capability of transmitting efficiently from human to human in an extraordinary manner, well beyond any of the other variants that we've experienced, up to now," Anthony Fauci, the White House chief medical advisor, also said during the hearing, according to CNBC.

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.