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Jan Felix Drexler and his colleagues report that the 3'-X-tail element of the hepatitis C virus is highly conserved. By de novo sequencing, they characterized the tail and then they developed a prototype RT-PCR assay test to determine if this region could be used as a diagnostic target. The authors say the test was robust against genotype variation and precise in determining virus quantification.

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UK Royal Statistical Society is organizing a working group to develop guidelines for assessing COVID-19 tests, the Guardian reports.

The Washington Post reports that the White House chief of staff has asked the US Food and Drug Administration to justify the stricter standards it is seeking for a coronavirus vaccine.

President Donald Trump's "good genes" comment raises eugenics concerns, CNN reports.

In PLOS this week: genetic analysis of tremor condition, analysis of a West and Central African tree used in traditional medicine, and more.