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Paul Doty Dies

Biochemist and nuclear arms control activist Paul Doty has died, reports The New York Times. He was 91. Doty founded the biochemistry and molecular biology department at Harvard University, and recruited James Watson there — Watson considered Doty his mentor, the Times adds. In 1960, Doty and his colleague Julius Marmur reported that DNA come apart and be put back together, a finding that "became a foundation of modern molecular biology."

"This recombination thesis was so counterintuitive that Dr. Marmur and Dr. Doty took bets from doubting fellow scientists, who believed their results were wrong," the Times adds.

In the late 1950s, Doty chaired a group of American scientists who met with Soviet researchers to discuss nuclear arms. "The meetings are believed to have helped lay the scientific foundation for the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty between the Soviet Union and the United States signed in 1972," the Times says.

The Scan

Booster for At-Risk

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for people over 65 or at increased risk.

Preprints OK to Mention Again

Nature News reports the Australian Research Council has changed its new policy and now allows preprints to be cited in grant applications.

Hundreds of Millions More to Share

The US plans to purchase and donate 500 million additional SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses, according to the Washington Post.

Nature Papers Examine Molecular Program Differences Influencing Neural Cells, Population History of Polynesia

In Nature this week: changes in molecular program during embryonic development leads to different neural cell types, and more.