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Even More Testing

While the Biden Administration is moving to scale up testing for COVID-19, experts tell NPR that even more testing than what is being sought is needed.

It notes that the White House is seeking more funding for COVID-19 testing as part of a relief package currently being negotiated in Congress and recently reached a $231 million deal with Ellume that includes purchasing 8.5 million of its rapid, at-home, over-the-counter SARS-CoV-2 test. The Biden Administration further plans to invest in additional companies with the goal of having 61 million additional tests by the summer, NPR adds.

But Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health's Michael Mina tells it that that still isn't enough testing and argues that additional, and simpler tests, are needed. 

"Testing is actually more important now than it was eight months ago because of the high contagiousness rate of these new variants," Mara Aspinall from Arizona State University adds at NPR. "It is critical to stop these new strains right in their tracks. And the only way to do that is to test."

The Scan

Adenine Base Editor Targets SCID Mutation in New Study

Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, report in Cell that adenine base editing was able to produce functional T lymphocytes in a model of severe combined immune deficiency.

Gene Linked to Alkaline Sensitivity in Plants Identified

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Science have found a locus affecting alkaline-salinity sensitivity, which could aid in efforts to improve crop productivity, as they report in Science.

International Team Proposes Checklist for Returning Genomic Research Results

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics present a checklist to guide the return of genomic research results to study participants.

Study Presents New Insights Into How Cancer Cells Overcome Telomere Shortening

Researchers report in Nucleic Acids Research that ATRX-deficient cancer cells have increased activity of the alternative lengthening of telomeres pathway.