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Should Science Be Free for Everyone?

The Culturing Science blog's Hannah Waters says the current system of research publication is "antiquated" and "hindering" science, and that it's time to make the results of scientific studies openly available to everyone. Despite the fact that a lot of research is federally funded, much of it is only available through journals that require a paid subscription. "Why should taxpayers have to pay twice to have access to science?" Waters asks. She acknowledges that it is a complicated issue and that there are questions about how to keep up productivity and quality without the current competitive atmosphere created by journal hierarchy. "But I think the benefits outweigh the potentially negative outcomes of these questions. Science will become more efficient as scientists everywhere have greater access to results and methods," she says. "I also just like the idea of science-for-everyone as a rule; science is not for the elite, but for the world!" Waters also says she supports the efforts of Pennsylvania Congressman Mike Doyle, who has recently proposed the 2010 version of the Federal Research Public Access Act, which would require all research institutions like NIH, CDC and NSF, to require that resulting research be public within 6 months of publication. Major universities like Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers, University of Texas, and many others have already signed on in support of the bill, Waters says.

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.