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In an op-ed piece in the New York Times, Sam Harris, the author of The End of Faith, discusses why he is uncomfortable with Francis Collins' nomination to be NIH director. Harris says that Collins has impeccable credentials but that it's important to understand how Collins' faith relates to scientific research. Harris walks through the text of slides that Collins presented at a talk at Berkeley in 2008.

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President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Eric Lander to serve as director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Associated Press says.

Nature News writes that scientists are trying to figure out how to name the new strains of SARS-CoV-2 that are emerging.

The New York Times reports that researchers are studying identical twins who had COVID-19 to understand the influence of genetics on disease severity.

In PNAS this week: epistasis affecting cystic fibrosis, Tiger rattlesnake genome gives venom insight, and more.