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Sam Harris On Francis Collins

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. Collins says that that science makes belief in "loving, logical and consistent" God reasonable but Harris adds that when challenged with evidence of an "unloving, illogical, inconsistent or, indeed, absent" God, Collins says that God is separate from Nature.

The Scan

Long COVID-19 Susceptibility Clues Contained in Blood Plasma Proteome

A longitudinal study in eBioMedicine found weeks-long blood plasma proteome shifts after SARS-CoV-2 infection, along with proteomic signatures that appeared to coincide with long Covid risk.

Tibetan Study Finds Adaptive Variant Influencing Skin Pigmentation

With a combination of phenotyping and genetic data, researchers document at PNAS a Tibetan-enriched enhancer variant influencing melanin synthesis and ultraviolet light response.

Domestication Linked to Nervous System Genes in Inbred Mouse Strains

Researchers highlighted more than 300 positively selected genes in domesticated mice, including genes linked to nervous system function or behavior in Genome Biology.

ALS Genetic Testing May Be Informative Across Age Ranges, Study Finds

Researchers in the journal Brain identified clinically actionable variants in a significant subset of older ALS patients, prompting them to point to the potential benefits of broader test use.