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Always Inventing

Stanford chemist Eugene van Tamelen died of cancer, reports the Los Angeles Times. He was 84. Van Tamelen studied the structure of complex natural molecules and, according to his colleagues, van Tamelen "liked being different and he liked being first," the Times says. While a graduate student, van Tamelen helped synthesize cantharidin, the main component of Spanish Fly, and later worked on the hallucinogen yohimbine and the antimitotic agent colchicine. "He was constantly inventing new reactions and new approaches to interesting molecules," says Stanford's John Brauman.

The Scan

Highly Similar

Researchers have uncovered bat viruses that are highly similar to SARS-CoV-2, according to Nature News.

Gain of Oversight

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Biden Administration is considering greater oversight of gain-of-function research.

Lasker for mRNA Vaccine Work

The Scientist reports that researchers whose work enabled the development of mRNA-based vaccines are among this year's Lasker Award winners

PLOS Papers on Causal Variant Mapping, Ancient Salmonella, ALK Fusion Test for NSCLC

In PLOS this week: MsCAVIAR approach to map causal variants, analysis of ancient Salmonella, and more.