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Elephants don't grow so large overnight. And a new study published in PNAS shows that it takes at least 24 million generations for a mammal the size of a mouse to evolve into something as big as an elephant, reports Veronique Greenwood at Discover magazine's 80beats blog.

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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.

In PNAS this week: epistasis affecting cystic fibrosis, Tiger rattlesnake genome gives venom insight, and more.