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New Science Committee Chair Chosen

Lamar Smith (R-Texas) is to be the new chair of the US House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, reports the Nature News Blog. Smith takes the spot over from Ralph Hall, also a Republican from Texas, who had to step down from leading the committee due to Republican term-limitation rules. Smith was chosen for the position over the other candidates, Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) and James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.), by a steering committed led by Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), the article notes.

The Nature News Blog adds that Smith has previously chaired the House judiciary committee where he oversaw the America Invents Act legislation and that Smith has been a part of efforts to better allow foreign graduates with science and engineering degrees from US schools to remain in the US.

The Scan

Study Reveals New Details About Genetics of Major Cause of Female Infertility

Researchers in Nature Medicine conducted a whole-exome sequencing study of mote than a thousand patients with premature ovarian insufficiency.

Circulating Tumor DNA Shows Potential as Biomarker in Rare Childhood Cancer

A study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology has found that circulating tumor DNA levels in rhabdomyosarcoma may serve as a biomarker for prognosis.

Study Recommends Cancer Screening for Dogs Beginning Age Seven, Depending on Breed

PetDx researchers report in PLOS One that annual cancer screening for dogs should begin by age seven.

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.