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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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President Donald Trump might not approve the stricter standards the US Food and Drug Administration is developing for authorizing a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, according to Politico.

Wired reports that Oxitec has now developed a genetically modified fall armyworm.

A large genetic study finds SARS-CoV-2 viruses with a certain variant are spreading more than others, according to the Washington Post.

In Nature this week: sister-chromatid-sensitive chromosome conformation capture approach, and more.