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It's Cool, Really, We Promise

To show students in rural areas of the US that science is cool, biologists from the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center in Durham, NC, set out to bring Darwin Day activities to 19 schools in Virginia, Nebraska, Montana, and Iowa, reports The New York Times. The scientists were met with some skepticism from both scientists and the school communities. "You want to send evolutionary biologists out to rural America?" the center's Craig McClain recalls thinking. "On purpose?" At the schools, the biologists went through a "delicate process" to negotiate their visit with school officials who were nervous about the scientists' ideological intentions. In the end, the traveling band of scientists says what it found was curiosity from the students. "I had imagined that these periods in the auditorium would be cold and boring," Shae Carter, an Iowan 10th grader, tells the Times. "But I liked it."

The Scan

White-Tailed Deer Harbor SARS-CoV-2 Variants No Longer Infecting Humans, Study Finds

A new study in PNAS has found that white-tailed deer could act as a reservoir of SARS-CoV-2 variants no longer found among humans.

Study Points to Benefits of Local Consolidative Therapy, Targeted Treatments in Cancer Care

In JCO Precision Oncology, researchers report that local consolidative therapy combined with molecularly targeted treatments could improve survival for some lung cancer patients.

Genetic Variants That Lower LDL Cholesterol Linked to Reduced Heart Disease Risk

Rare variants in two genes that lower LDL cholesterol are also associated with a decreased risk of coronary heart disease, according to a new JAMA Cardiology study.

Study Links Evolution of Longevity, Social Organization in Mammals

With the help of comparative phylogenetics and transcriptomics, researchers in Nature Communications see ties between lifespan and social organization in mammals.