Following is a summary of current science news briefs.
Exclusive-Polish gene project moves to drop Chinese tech on data concerns
A European Union-funded project to build a genomic map of Poland plans to drop gene-sequencing technology from China’s BGI Group over concerns about data security, one of the project’s leaders told Reuters. The Genomic Map of Poland’s concerns stem from questions over how Polish genomic data may be used that relate to national security, said Marek Figlerowicz, a Professor at the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry at the Polish Academy of Sciences who steers the project.
AstraZeneca invests in Imperial’s self-amplifying RNA technology with an eye on future drugs
AstraZeneca Plc on Thursday struck a deal with the firm behind Imperial College London’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine to develop and sell drugs based on its self-amplifying RNA technology platform in other disease areas. Under the deal, VaxEquity, a startup founded by Imperial vaccinologist Robin Shattock, could receive up to $195 million if certain milestones are met, in addition to royalties on approved drugs and equity investment from AstraZeneca and life sciences investor Morningside Ventures.
Severe COVID-19 may trigger autoimmune conditions; New variants cause more virus in the air
The following is a summary of some recent studies on COVID-19. They include research that warrants further study to corroborate the findings and that has yet to be certified by peer review. Severe COVID-19 may “trip off” immune self-attacks
Good friends and fresh blood: the social life of a vampire bat
When one thinks of vampire bats, friendship and cooperation may not be among the qualities that come to mind for these blood-feasting creatures of the night. But maybe they should. Scientists on Thursday provided a deeper understanding of social relationships among vampire bats, showing how those that have forged bonds akin to “friendships” with others will rendezvous with these buddies while foraging for a meal.
Genetic study reveals how ancient seafarers settled vast Polynesia
Beginning more than a millennium ago, intrepid seafarers traversed vast Pacific Ocean expanses in double-hulled sailing canoes to reach the far-flung islands of Polynesia, the planet’s last habitable region to be settled by people. A genetic study published on Wednesday has deciphered the timing and sequence of this settlement of an area spanning about a third of Earth’s surface, with Samoa as the starting point while Rapa Nui, also called Easter Island, and other locales known for megalithic statues were among the last to be reached.
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