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Obama Intends to Appoint Varmus to NCI

President Obama says he plans to appoint Harold Varmus as director of the National Cancer Institute. Varmus has served as the president of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center since January 2000, and is a former director of the National Institutes of Health under former President Clinton, as well as the co-recipient of the 1989 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, according to the White House statement. He has also served on President Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says Varmus' contributions to the understanding of cancer "have provided a foundation for treatments that have helped so many." In a statement, NIH director Francis Collins said of Varmus, "Harold brings unmatched expertise at all levels — not only in cutting edge scientific research, but also as a leader in the development of strategies for improving patient care, education and training, and in designing novel public-private partnerships."

The Scan

Unique Germline Variants Found Among Black Prostate Cancer Patients

Through an exome sequencing study appearing in JCO Precision Oncology, researchers have found unique pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants within a cohort of Black prostate cancer patients.

Analysis of Endogenous Parvoviral Elements Found Within Animal Genomes

Researchers at PLOS Biology have examined the coevolution of endogenous parvoviral elements and animal genomes to gain insight into using the viruses as gene therapy vectors.

Saliva Testing Can Reveal Mosaic CNVs Important in Intellectual Disability

An Australian team has compared the yield of chromosomal microarray testing of both blood and saliva samples for syndromic intellectual disability in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

Octopus Brain Complexity Linked to MicroRNA Expansions

Investigators saw microRNA gene expansions coinciding with complex brains when they analyzed certain cephalopod transcriptomes, as they report in Science Advances.