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Planning to become a mad scientist and take over the world? It might help to know your competition. The Guardian offers this trivia quiz on fictional mad scientists, starting with this question: "Why does Crake, in Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake, create a genetic pandemic that apparently kills off all human beings apart from his friend Jimmy?"

 

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The Financial Times reports the US bolstering its ability to track SARS-CoV-2 alterations.

The New York Times reports that Cedars-Sinai researchers have uncovered a new strain of SARS-CoV-2 in Southern California.

In Nucleic Acids Research this week: pan-cancer atlas focus on miRNA biogenesis mutations, methylation analysis of pig skeletal muscles, and more.

President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Eric Lander to serve as director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Associated Press says.