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The Hardest Part Is the Virtual Schmoozing

Over at Buried Treasure, Lars Juhl Jensen has a post evaluating scientific conferences that take place in virtual worlds such as Second Life. Jensen says his initial impression was that Second Life was "rather useless" -- over time, though, his view of its potential has grown more optimistic. There are still a number of technical challenges preventing this from becoming a really useful tool, he says.

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.