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Scientific Debate Extends to TV Show

"The Big Bang Theory," a CBS comedy about two nerdy physicists, has annoyed some scientists who are bothered by the stereotype of the scientist-as-geeky-loser, according to the New York Times' Dennis Overbye. Though the series is "funny and scientifically accurate" scientists are "put off" by it, he says. But other researchers are lining up to be guests on the show, including Nobel laureate George Smoot, NPR Science Friday host Ira Flatow, and Harvard particle theorist Lisa Randall. Other scientists have changed their opinions of the show because although the characters aren't exactly cool, they're funny and "lovable," says Overbye. And the show does employ David Saltzberg, a particle physicist from UCLA, as a scientific consultant to keep the science accurate. Chuck Lorre, one of the show's producers, told Overbye he hopes that, beyond the laughs the show provides, "Maybe at the end of the day this will inspire some kids to go into physics."

The Scan

Gone, But Now Reconstructed SARS-CoV-2 Genomes

In a preprint, a researcher describes his recovery of viral sequences that had been removed from a common database.

Rare Heart Inflammation Warning

The Food and Drug Administration is adding a warning about links between a rare inflammatory heart condition and two SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, Reuters reports.

Sandwich Sampling

The New York Times sent tuna sandwiches for PCR analysis.

Nature Papers Describe Gut Viruses, New Format for Storing Quantitative Genomic Data, More

In Nature this week: catalog of DNA viruses of the human gut microbiome, new dense depth data dump format to store quantitative genomic data, and more.