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The Human Genome Bubble

It's not just financial systems that experience bubbles, reports the arXiv blog. Another recent bubble was the Human Genome Project, say Monika Gisler and her colleagues at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. They say that the project generated high expectations — to revolutionize medicine and change society — which got the US government to invest in the effort. That investment led to private-public competition which, they say, helped support the bubble and diminish concerns about the project's uncertainties. Most of those fears, the authors add, have come to pass, though the effort was a boon to technology development. The authors also conclude that bubbles, if managed properly, can be good. "Governments can take advantage of the social bubble mechanism to catalyze long-term investments by the private sector, which would not otherwise be supported," they say.

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 65 and older 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.