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With Elmo and Sally Ride, It's Sure to Work

Through a campaign called Educate to Innovate — which is recruiting Sesame Street characters, video game programmers, and scientists — the Obama administration hopes to improve science and math education for children, the New York Times reports. As part of the program, Discovery's Science Channel will have two hours of commercial-free programming for middle school students during the afternoon; the MacArthur Foundation and other organizations will award prizes for video games that teach science and math; and the White House has recruited Sally Ride, the former astronaut, Craig Barrett, the former Intel chairman, and Ursula Burns, the chief executive of Xerox, to make the case for funding science and math education to corporations and philanthropies. "The need is funding," Ride says. "There is a lot of corporate interest and foundation interest in this issue." There will also be a National Lab Day held during the first week of May.

The Scan

Booster for At-Risk

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for people over 65 or at increased risk.

Preprints OK to Mention Again

Nature News reports the Australian Research Council has changed its new policy and now allows preprints to be cited in grant applications.

Hundreds of Millions More to Share

The US plans to purchase and donate 500 million additional SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses, according to the Washington Post.

Nature Papers Examine Molecular Program Differences Influencing Neural Cells, Population History of Polynesia

In Nature this week: changes in molecular program during embryonic development leads to different neural cell types, and more.