The Papal Phone Call

Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Francis Collins to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, a group tasked with promoting "the progress of the mathematical, physical and natural sciences and [studying] epistemological problems," according to the Vatican's website.

Other members of the 80-person academy include David Baltimore, Paul Berg, and Stephen Hawking.

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Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen also contributed to brain research, NPR reports.

The New York Times reports on the shifting interpretations of what some genetic variants mean over time.

MIT's Technology Review reports on Genentech's pursuit of personalized cancer vaccines.

In Cell this week: investigation of metastatic tumor evolution, more than 16,000 genetic variants introduced into the budding yeast model organism, and more.