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PhD Required?

An editorial in this week’s Nature contemplates the hiring process at BGI, in Shenzhen, China, which hires students fresh from their undergraduate educations to work in their state-of-the-art sequencing facility. “If Nature’s interviews are anything to go by, these BGI researchers are smart, confident and, for their age, tremendously experienced,” the Nature staff writes. Their article also questions whether the new hires, themselves, could be selling themselves short by becoming proficient in a small set of techniques, rather than pursuping postgraduate training. According to the article, nearly 500 Chinese university students have signed up to join BGI when they graduate this summer. “Given the increasing rigidity and length of the Western academic pipeline — which now extends so far beyond the PhD that the average age for first-time principal investigators on grants from the US National Institutes of Health is 42 — the BGI model may be worth serious consideration,” the editorial suggests.

The Scan

Another Resignation

According to the Wall Street Journal, a third advisory panel member has resigned following the US Food and Drug Administration's approval of an Alzheimer's disease drug.

Novavax Finds Its Vaccine Effective

Reuters reports Novavax's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is more than 90 percent effective in preventing COVID-19.

Can't Be Used

The US Food and Drug Administration says millions of vaccine doses made at an embattled manufacturing facility cannot be used, the New York Times reports.

PLOS Papers on Frozen Shoulder GWAS, Epstein-Barr Effects on Immune Cell Epigenetics, More

In PLOS this week: genome-wide association study of frozen shoulder, epigenetic patterns of Epstein-Barr-infected B lymphocyte cells, and more.