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Extended Employment

Nature's Virginia Gewin this week says that "academics who delay retirement could create roadblocks for early-career researchers." Graeme Hugo at the University of Adelaide in Australia tells Gewin that more than half of the academic workforce is over 50 years old. So, while Hugo says he expects around 40 percent of that workforce to retire in the next decade, Gewin says that will not produce the ideal situation for young academics because as faculty members delay their retirements, "increasingly, vacated permanent posts are divided into contractual, non-tenure-track jobs."

Harvard University's Cathy Trower says that "the pipeline isn't emptying like administrations thought it would," as academics delay their retirements. Frances Rosenbluth at Yale University says that "there is not going to be any massive wave of retirements for a while — we've got 20 years to wait for the anaconda bulge of baby boomers to work itself out."

Overall, Gewin says, "the recession has only exacerbated a growing trend towards deferring retirements; no one expects a retirement boom, even if the economy improves."

The Scan

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.