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Political Science

Scientists in the UK got political this week, staging a mock funeral for science at 10 Downing Street to protest what they see as unfair funding regulations. The march was organized by a new science lobbying group called Science for the Future. But too few researchers are willing to engage in politics, even though they should, says The Guardian's Adam Smith. Jon Spiers, former policy and campaign manager at Cancer Research UK, tells Smith that "the average scientist doesn't appreciate how policy is made or, therefore, how they can influence it."

So, Smith says, researchers need to get political if they want to make sure that their interests are taken into consideration when policy is made. Some researchers stay quiet because they're worried their funding will be in jeopardy if they protest, while others are too busy with publishing papers or getting grants to have time to participate in the political process, Smith says. But, he adds, "Like it or not, scientists, sometimes you have to swap the pipette for the placard."

The Scan

And Back

The New York Times reports that missing SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences are back in a different database.

Lacks Family Hires Attorney

A lawyer for the family of Henrietta Lacks plans to seek compensation from pharmaceutical companies that have used her cancer cells in product development, the Baltimore Sun reports.

For the Unknown

The Associated Press reports that family members are calling on the US military to use new DNA analysis techniques to identify unknown sailors and Marines who were on the USS Arizona.

PLOS Papers on Congenital Heart Disease, COVID-19 Infection Host MicroRNAs, Multiple Malformation Mutations

In PLOS this week: new genes linked to congenital heart disease, microRNAs with altered expression in COVID-19, and more.