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Advice from Afar

The National Institutes of Health Office of Science Education has launched a new e-mentoring program, open to students, 16 and older, and mentors in the US. The service links students and mentors via e-mail through a secured site managed by the NIH. "The program aims to offer students a safe place to receive professional and ongoing support as they strive for academic and career success," according to its Web site. To date, there are more than 140 mentors registered, representing a wide array of health sciences careers — from grad students and technicians to PIs and physicians.

The NIH has established safety measures, including screening all prospective mentors against the Department of Justice's Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender database, as well as the e-mails exchanged between students and mentors. Students under 18 require the permission of a parent of legal guardian to participate. Additional program information is available here.

The Scan

Not as High as Hoped

The Associated Press says initial results from a trial of CureVac's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine suggests low effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.

Finding Freshwater DNA

A new research project plans to use eDNA sampling to analyze freshwater rivers across the world, the Guardian reports.

Rise in Payments

Kaiser Health News investigates the rise of payments made by medical device companies to surgeons that could be in violation of anti-kickback laws.

Nature Papers Present Ginkgo Biloba Genome Assembly, Collection of Polygenic Indexes, More

In Nature this week: a nearly complete Ginkgo biloba genome assembly, polygenic indexes for dozens of phenotypes, and more.