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Concentrated Learning

Research councils in the UK have shifted toward funding doctoral training programs at a handful of top institutions, Anna Fazackerley writes at The Guardian, leaving some smaller schools to wonder about their role. "What they are doing is creating a catch-22. If they limit research council studentships to the big players, that limits the scoring in the [Research Excellence Framework], and if you don't score highly in that you don't get studentships in the future," says Paul O'Prey, the vice-chancellor of Roehampton University in London. Some worry, Fazackerley adds, that other research grants would also be affected.

Others, though, say students benefit from an environment of scholarship. "Research students need more than a good supervisor; they need deep engagement in the full breadth of their discipline. That can only happen in an environment where there is a critical mass of teachers and like-qualified students," adds Sarah Worthington, a Cambridge University law professor.

The Scan

Test of the China Initiative

According to Science, the upcoming trial of Harvard University chemist Charles Lieber will test the US China Initiative.

Collaborative Approach

A virologist who spotted the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 tells the Associated Press that its detection was aided by scientific sharing.

Genes of a Guide Dog

Wired reports on a study aimed at uncovering genes involved in being a successful guide dog.

PLOS Papers on RNAs in Metastatic Prostate Cancer, Ebola Field Lab, Embryonic RNA Editing

In PLOS this week: circRNA-mediated ceRNA network points to prostate cancer biomarkers, Ebola testing at frontline field laboratory, and more.