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George Williams Dies

Evolutionary biologist George Williams died last week, reports the New York Times. He was 83. In his 1966 book "Adaptation and Natural Selection," Williams laid out his argument that natural selection works at the level of the gene and individual, writing that "one should assume the adequacy of the simplest form of natural selection unless the evidence clearly shows that this theory does not suffice." The idea, the Times adds, was popularized in Richard Dawkins' "The Selfish Gene." Evolutionary biologist Douglas Futuyma tells the Times that Williams was "widely regarded by peers in his field as one of the most influential and incisive evolutionary theorists of the 20th century."

The Scan

Renewed Gain-of-Function Worries

The New York Times writes that the pandemic is renewing concerns about gain-of-function research.

Who's Getting the Patents?

A trio of researchers has analyzed gender trends in biomedical patents issued between 1976 and 2010 in the US, New Scientist reports.

Other Uses

CBS Sunday Morning looks at how mRNA vaccine technology could be applied beyond SARS-CoV-2.

PLOS Papers Present Analysis of Cervicovaginal Microbiome, Glycosylation in Model Archaea, More

In PLOS this week: functional potential of the cervicovaginal microbiome, glycosylation patterns in model archaea, and more.