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Nobelists Rising

An article at Science Progress looks at new Noblist Elizabeth Blackburn's tenure on George W. Bush's President's Council on Bioethics. The article says that Blackburn's progressive stance on human embryonic stem cell research irked the administration. Blackburn was appointed to the council in 2001 and her tenure was not renewed three years later. Blackburn then wrote: "In a telephone call from the White House one Friday afternoon in February, I was told that my services were no longer needed. The only explanation I was offered was that 'the White House has decided to make some changes in the bioethics council.'"

Another new Nobel-winner, Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, speaks out against Britain's research funding reforms, according to the Guardian. "There is a lot of focus now on trying to get very quick pay-offs in research. It is a huge mistake. Basic science has paid off far more than any directed research," he says. "If you don't invest properly in fundamental science, then you won't have the foundations to develop the technologies and applications of tomorrow. Ten years down the line, your technology will be based on obsolete foundations."

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.