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In Nature this week, a Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory-led team publishes an improved maize reference genome, which was assembled and annotated using single-molecule real-time sequencing and high-resolution optical mapping. Relative to the previous reference genome, the new assembly features a 52-fold increase in contig length, as well as significant improvements in the assembly of intergenic spaces and centromeres.

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The Washington Post reports on researchers' efforts to determine the effect of an increasingly common SARS-CoV-2 mutation.

Florida Politics reports Florida's law barring life, long-term care, and disability insurers from using genetic information in coverage decisions went into effect at the beginning of July.

A new analysis finds a link between popular media coverage of a scientific study and how often that paper is cited.

In Nature this week: CRISPR approaches to editing plant genomes, way to speed up DNA-PAINT, and more.