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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

Highly Similar

Researchers have uncovered bat viruses that are highly similar to SARS-CoV-2, according to Nature News.

Gain of Oversight

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Biden Administration is considering greater oversight of gain-of-function research.

Lasker for mRNA Vaccine Work

The Scientist reports that researchers whose work enabled the development of mRNA-based vaccines are among this year's Lasker Award winners

PLOS Papers on Causal Variant Mapping, Ancient Salmonella, ALK Fusion Test for NSCLC

In PLOS this week: MsCAVIAR approach to map causal variants, analysis of ancient Salmonella, and more.