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As a syphilis epidemic raged in Europe beginning in the late 1400s, Science notes that some researchers suspect that Christopher Columbus or his crew may have brought the bacterium that causes it back from the Americas. Other Treponema pallidum subspecies, it notes, cause yaws and bejel, diseases that are known to have been circulating in the Americas prior to Columbus' arrival.

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President Donald Trump might not approve the stricter standards the US Food and Drug Administration is developing for authorizing a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, according to Politico.

Wired reports that Oxitec has now developed a genetically modified fall armyworm.

A large genetic study finds SARS-CoV-2 viruses with a certain variant are spreading more than others, according to the Washington Post.

In Nature this week: sister-chromatid-sensitive chromosome conformation capture approach, and more.