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Circumstance and Choice

At American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Today, Baylor College of Medicine's Lynn Zechiedrich says it's high time that the scientific community "acknowledge and reward the burgeoning class of highly skilled, underpaid, and highly stressed workhorses in our nation's research laboratories." As Zechiedrich puts it:

They are not often the first or last authors on publications. They are not usually the ones traveling to meetings to present their work. They do not often get to interact with the public or the press. Their jobs are tenuous, and their titles rarely reflect their talent, intellect, or hard work. In the US, they are known variously as instructors, non-tenure-track faculty, postdoctoral fellows, research faculty, senior technicians, or staff scientists.

Whether because of circumstance or by choice, Zechiedrich says that "a lot of great talent is accumulating in the middle ranks of institutions. Both those who have become stuck and those who have purposefully chosen not to move on bring much good to our nation's laboratories and institutions."

The Scan

CDC Calls Delta "Variant of Concern"

CNN reports the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now considers the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 to be a "variant of concern."

From FDA to Venture Capital

Former FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn is taking a position at a venture capital firm, leading some ethicists to raise eyebrows, according to the Washington Post.

Consent Questions

Nature News writes that there are questions whether informed consent was obtained for some submissions to a database of Y-chromosome profiles.

Cell Studies on Multimodal Single-Cell Analysis, Coronaviruses in Bats, Urban Microbiomes

In Cell this week: approach to analyze multimodal single-cell genomic data, analysis of bat coronaviruses, and more.