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Parliament Pores Over Peer Review

The UK Parliament's Commons Select Committee announces the launch of its "inquiry into peer review," in which it aims to assess the "effectiveness of the … process used to examine and validate scientific results and papers prior to publication." As part of its investigation, the committee is encouraging public input on all aspects of the peer-review process, including submissions that highlight "the strengths and weaknesses of peer review as a quality control mechanism for scientists, publishers and the public," and possible alternatives to strengthen the system. The submission deadline is March 10. Blogger Frank at Trading Knowledge says that while many people seems to "worry that attempting a change will wreak havoc on the whole academic enterprise and research careers [and] damage the commercial concerns of journal publishers," it's not yet apparent whether there are any systemic problems with peer review, and if there are, whether a "workable alternative" to the system exists. "I hope the Select Committee inquiry will help to move us closer to finding answers to those questions," he says.

The Scan

Vaccine Update Recommended

A US Food and Drug Administration panel recommends booster vaccines be updated to target Omicron, CNBC reports.

US to Make More Vaccines for Monkeypox Available

The US is to make nearly 300,000 vaccine doses available in the coming weeks to stem the spread of human monkeypox virus, according to NPR.

Sentence Appealed

The Associated Press reports that Swedish prosecutors are appealing the sentence given to a surgeon once lauded for transplanting synthetic tracheas but then convicted of causing bodily harm.

Genome Biology Papers on COVID-19 Effector Genes, Virtual ChIP-seq, scDART

In Genome Biology this week: proposed COVID-19 effector genes, method to predict transcription factor binding patterns, and more.