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Stephen Hawking is just one scientist backing the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (Aims) project, founded four years ago in South Africa by Neil Turok, reports this Times Online article. Turok, who won a £50,000 TED prize earlier this year, started the project to help Africa develop its science base. It's also hoped to go a long way toward undoing negative stereotypes, perpetuated by comments like those rolling off James Watson's tongue.

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The World Health Organization will be providing low-cost COVID-19 tests to low- and middle-income nations, according to Reuters.

Nature News examines how the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court could affect scientific agencies.

Nobel Prize-winner Arthur Ashkin, who developed optical tweezers, has died at 98, the Washington Post reports.

In PNAS this week: altered gene expression in brain samples from Alzheimer's disease patients, effects of gene mutations found in bladder cancer, and more.