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Following the joint announcement of an initiative aimed at family-friendly policies and practices for men and women in research careers, the White House and the US National Science Foundation held a webcast in which the agency's Director Subra Suresh spoke about NSF's commitment to supporting work-life balance for the researchers it supports, and First Lady Michelle Obama highlighted the importance of retaining women in the STEM workforce.

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President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Eric Lander to serve as director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Associated Press says.

Nature News writes that scientists are trying to figure out how to name the new strains of SARS-CoV-2 that are emerging.

The New York Times reports that researchers are studying identical twins who had COVID-19 to understand the influence of genetics on disease severity.

In PNAS this week: epistasis affecting cystic fibrosis, Tiger rattlesnake genome gives venom insight, and more.