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An analysis of a gene that is shared by modern humans and their ancient Neanderthal and Denisovan relatives but with a protein-coding difference suggests that the variant may have had a role in human evolution. The evolutionarily conserved splicing regulator neuro-oncological ventral antigen 1 (NOVA1) is key to neural development and function, and altered NOVA1 splicing activity in humans is associated with neurological disorders. It also includes a single nucleotide substitution between the modern human genome and Neanderthal and Denisovan genomes.

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SARS-CoV-2 vaccine developers are evaluating further vaccine doses as well as modified doses to keep up with new viral variants, according to CNN.

The New York Times reports that a new viral variant of concern has been identified in New York City.

In Nature this week: spatiotemporally resolved map of the human cell cycle, folding single-cell RNA sequencing into cancer drug studies, and more.

According to BBC News, the global vaccine-sharing initiative has sent its first shipment, which arrived in Ghana this week.