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The Fight for Evolution

Eugenie Scott, the director of the National Center for Science Education, has long advocated for the teaching of evolution rather than creationism or intelligent design in US public school science classrooms, the New York Times writes. Scott has been at the helm of the NCSE for 27 years and is due to step down at the end of the year.

"Working with local groups, we have stopped a lot of really bad resolutions and policies at the state level," she tells the Times. "We need to do a lot more, but textbooks all have evolution now. They don't qualify it with, 'Some scientists believe. ...' "

Still, she notes, many Americans don't accept evolution and often see a conflict between evolution and religion. "[T]here is not a dichotomous division between people of faith and science. There are many people of faith who accept evolution. This is something many people do not realize," Scott adds.

After retiring, the Times writes that not only will Scott be working on a memoir, but she will also be helping the center organize its archives, which some researchers are combing through to try to determine why the US differs from other developed nations in its acceptance rates of evolution.

The Scan

Possibly as Transmissible

Officials in the UK say the B.1.617.2 variant of SARS-CoV-2 may be as transmitted as easily as the B.1.1.7 variant that was identified in the UK, New Scientist reports.

Gene Therapy for SCID 'Encouraging'

The Associated Press reports that a gene therapy appears to be effective in treating severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome.

To Watch the Variants

Scientists told US lawmakers that SARS-CoV-2 variants need to be better monitored, the New York Times reports.

Nature Papers Present Nautilus Genome, Tool to Analyze Single-Cell Data, More

In Nature this week: nautilus genome gives peek into its evolution, computational tool to analyze single-cell ATAC-seq data, and more.