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(Overly) Alternative Science Careers

In a guest post at the Just Another Electron Pusher blog, Chemjobber says that when it comes to alternative careers in science, not all options are good ones. Chemists, he says, are unlikely to be fit for careers as fashion designers, diplomats, traffic cops, or organic farmers. ("The confusion between organic food and organic chemistry would be enough to make your head explode," he says.) Postdoctoral scientists seeking employment probably wouldn't make the best motivational speakers, either: "'So the reason that you should live your dreams and strive for excellence is… is… is… 'cause I’ve been here five years and I desperately need a job!'" Chemjobber exaggerates. In imagining what it'd be like to be pulled over by a PhD scientist, he envisions the conversation going as follows: "'Yeah, I don’t really know how fast you were going, either. Probably 45 [miles per hour], plus or minus five or 10. What is the margin of error on this thing, anyway?'" While he acknowledges that there are plenty of attractive alternative science career prospects, "for those of you contemplating leaving graduate school or a postdoc for something — anything — else … don't try any of these," Chemjobber says.

The Scan

Highly Similar

Researchers have uncovered bat viruses that are highly similar to SARS-CoV-2, according to Nature News.

Gain of Oversight

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Biden Administration is considering greater oversight of gain-of-function research.

Lasker for mRNA Vaccine Work

The Scientist reports that researchers whose work enabled the development of mRNA-based vaccines are among this year's Lasker Award winners

PLOS Papers on Causal Variant Mapping, Ancient Salmonella, ALK Fusion Test for NSCLC

In PLOS this week: MsCAVIAR approach to map causal variants, analysis of ancient Salmonella, and more.