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Newly Crowned 'Geniuses'

Among this year's new batch of MacArthur Foundation Fellows are computer scientist Craig Gentry and physicist Danielle Bassett.

Gentry, a research scientist at IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, works on cryptography that may one day make cloud computing more secure, while Bassett, a physicist at the University of Pennsylvania, focuses on the connectivity of the human brain, work that may inform learning and lead to better understanding of psychiatric diseases.

At 32, Bassett, the New York Times notes, is the youngest recipient of the fellowship this year.

"Halfway through [the phone call informing her of receiving the grant], I said, 'Are you absolutely sure you got the right person?'" Bassett tells the Times. "Then they read my bio to me. It's an unexpected honor and sort of validation."

The fellows, or so-called 'genius' grant recipients, receive $625,000 over five years.

Other recipients include Tami Bond at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Mark Hersam at Northwestern University; Harvard University's Jacob Lurie; and Yitang Zhang from the University of New Hampshire.

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.