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Laying a Golden Research Egg

For many years, former Senator William Proxmire (D-WI) offered a Golden Fleece Award to government-funded scientific studies that he deemed a waste of taxpayer money, says ScienceInsider's David Malakoff. Now, Representative Jim Cooper (D-TN), other members of Congress, and several research groups plan to use Proxmire's idea with a twist by offering the newly thought-up Golden Goose Award to research projects that sound funny but have demonstrably serious implications for human health or the economy, Malakoff says. "Nominations will be reviewed by an eight-member selection committee that includes Bruce Alberts, the editor-in-chief of Science and Nobel Prize-winning physicist Burton Richter as well as university research officials," he adds. "At a press conference today in the Rayburn House Office Building, AAAS President Alan Leshner said he hoped the prize would help remind people that even seemingly offbeat studies can produce unexpected results."

The Scan

Not as High as Hoped

The Associated Press says initial results from a trial of CureVac's SARS-CoV-2 vaccine suggests low effectiveness in preventing COVID-19.

Finding Freshwater DNA

A new research project plans to use eDNA sampling to analyze freshwater rivers across the world, the Guardian reports.

Rise in Payments

Kaiser Health News investigates the rise of payments made by medical device companies to surgeons that could be in violation of anti-kickback laws.

Nature Papers Present Ginkgo Biloba Genome Assembly, Collection of Polygenic Indexes, More

In Nature this week: a nearly complete Ginkgo biloba genome assembly, polygenic indexes for dozens of phenotypes, and more.