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'Live Long and Prosper'

As much as for Captain James T. Kirk's way with alien women or Bones' quips about being a doctor (not a magician, or miracle worker, or engineer), Star Trek is loved by fans for Leonard Nimoy's portrayal of the Vulcan scientist, Mr. Spock. Researchers today can learn a lot from Spock, says Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution researcher Christopher Reddy at Wired Science. Spock was a "dispassionate" man who presented valuable scientific information in a cool and rational manner, Reddy says, adding, "I’ve come to realize that this attitude is exactly what you want from a scientist during a crisis." While the character is capable of great emotion, and has a passion for science, he put emotion away when it comes to presenting data. "I read quotes from really good scientists who are known to be passionate about what they do, but who became passionate to the point of sounding ridiculous when they presented their views," Reddy says. "Spock would have never acted like that. … Whether observing some strange new world around him or analyzing complicating or conflicting data, he keeps his cool, keeps searching for some grain of objective truth that will (inevitably, because each show was only an hour long) crystallize out of the confusion."

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.