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Breaking Down Biases

Molly Carnes, co-director of the Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is being funded $2 million over three years by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences in an effort to diminish the effects of implicit, unintentional biases against women, minorities, and people with disabilities in faculty hiring decisions — with a video game. The funding, awarded through the National Institutes of Health Director's Pathfinder Award to Promote Diversity in the Scientific Workforce grant program, will enable Carnes and her collaborators to develop an "interactive video game that will place faculty in situations where they can recognize the self-defeating nature of implicit bias," according to a UW-Madison news release. Carnes, also a professor of medicine and engineering, says that faculty "are the driver[s] of change in an academic institution" and that implicit bias in decision-making is "a bad habit that can be changed with practice." Working in collaboration with the university's Games and Simulation for Learning group, Carnes' team hopes to distribute the game across campus and complete a faculty-wide survey by 2013 in order to quantify the results of their efforts. According to Carnes, the ultimate test will then be whether there "is a change in hiring practices and faculty retention on campus."

The Scan

Alzheimer's Risk Gene Among Women

CNN reports that researchers have found that variants in MGMT contribute to Alzheimer's disease risk among women but not men.

Still Hanging Around

The Guardian writes that persistent pockets of SARS-CoV-2 in the body could contribute to long COVID.

Through a Little Spit

Enteric viruses like norovirus may also be transmitted through saliva, not just the fecal-oral route, according to New Scientist.

Nature Papers Present Method to Detect Full Transcriptome, Viruses Infecting Asgard Archaea, More

In Nature this week: VASA-seq approach to detect full transcriptome, analysis of viruses infecting Asgard archaea, and more.