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New Adviser

Mark Walport, the immunologist who heads up the Wellcome Trust, will be the next chief scientific adviser for the British government, reports Nature News. Walport will take over the post, advising the prime minister and cabinet, succeeding population biologist John Beddington next April. Nature adds that Walport "will be the first biomedical scientist in 30 years to occupy the role." Speaking about Walport's appointment, Nic Jones, chief scientist at Cancer Research UK, tells Nature: "I think it's going to be really important in terms of assuring that biomedical science is very high on the agenda in the government."

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.