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Since the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Plank Society, and the Wellcome Trust announced their launch of a new online-only, open-access genomics journal last month, the move has drawn some criticism. Over at the Great Beyond blog, Nature's Declan Butler — who is a self-proclaimed open-access publishing advocate — questions the groups' rationale for launching such a publication.

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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.

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