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"Hopeful monsters" are the center of Olivia Judson's post at the New York Times' The Wild Side. Back in the 1930s, geneticist Richard Goldschmidt thought that sudden morphological changes could occur quickly due to mutations in an embryo, creating a so-called hopeful monster that might have an advantage over other creatures -- an idea that was derided at the time.

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Kelvin Droegemeier, the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, is the new acting director of the US National Science Foundation.

An opinion piece at the Guardian discusses the state of SARS-CoV-2 testing in the UK.

Wired reports the University of California, Berkeley's Innovative Genomics Institute has transformed itself into a diagnostic lab to run SARS-CoV-2 tests.

In Nature this week: direct-capture Perturb-seq approach for combinatorial single-cell CRISPR screens, potential uses of genome-editing in breeding crops, and more.