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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

Not Yet a Permanent One

NPR says the lack of a permanent Food and Drug Administration commissioner has "flummoxed" public health officials.

Unfair Targeting

Technology Review writes that a new report says the US has been unfairly targeting Chinese and Chinese-American individuals in economic espionage cases.

Limited Rapid Testing

The New York Times wonders why rapid tests for COVID-19 are not widely available in the US.

Genome Research Papers on IPAFinder, Structural Variant Expression Effects, Single-Cell RNA-Seq Markers

In Genome Research this week: IPAFinder method to detect intronic polyadenylation, influence of structural variants on gene expression, and more.