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'Big, Big Trouble'

Science is in "big, big trouble," says Phil Plait at the Bad Astronomy blog. With Republicans planning a reorganization of the committees in the US House of Representatives, two "Texas far-right Republicans" are being considered to head committees on science and energy, something Plait calls "most troubling." Congressman Ralph Hall is set to take over the House Committee on Science and Technology — Hall once tried to kill a science innovation and education bill by adding a rider that made it illegal to pay the salaries of government employees who watch porn on work computers, Plait says. Congressman Joe Barton — who is most famous for apologizing to BP President Tony Hayward "for the government being mean to the oil company" — is being considered to head the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. "Did I mention that Representative Barton has also received more money from the oil and gas industry than any other member of Congress?" Plait adds. "I am not looking forward to the next two years," he says.

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.