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Leigh Van Valen Dies

Evolutionary biologist and University of Chicago professor Leigh Van Valen, who formulated a revolutionary hypothesis — which he named after the Red Queen in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass — to explain why organisms developed two sexes, has died, reports the New York Times' Douglas Martin. He was 76. The range of Van Valen's work was often surprising to other researchers, Martin says. Among his discoveries were that primates and dinosaurs coexisted, that dinosaurs had survived for a million years longer than previously thought, and that human intelligence correlates with brain size. After his Red Queen paper was repeatedly rejected by other journals, Martin says, Van Valen started his own journal — Evolutionary Theory. He wrote more than 300 papers, as well as songs about the sex lives of dinosaurs and paramecia, he adds.

The Scan

Missed Early Cases

A retrospective analysis of blood samples suggests early SARS-CoV-2 infections may have been missed in the US, the New York Times reports.

Limited Journal Editor Diversity

A survey finds low diversity among scientific and medical journal editors, according to The Scientist.

How Much of a Threat?

Science writes that need for a provision aimed at shoring up genomic data security within a new US bill is being questioned.

PNAS Papers on Historic Helicobacter Spread, Brain Development, C. difficile RNAs

In PNAS this week: Helicobacter genetic diversity gives insight into human migrations, gene expression patterns of brain development, and more.