Skip to main content

STEM Bill Passed by House

The US House of Representatives passed a bill Friday that gives permanent-resident status to foreign-born graduates who earn degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math from US institutions, reports the Nature News blog. The blog notes that the House rejected a similar bill about two months ago.

"In a global economy, we cannot afford to educate these foreign graduates in the US and then send them back home to work for our competitors," says Lamar Smith (R-Texas), who sponsored the STEM Jobs Act, in a statement. "This legislation will help us create jobs, increase our competitiveness, and spur our innovation."

The bill, The Chronicle of Higher Education notes, would shutter a diversity visa program that apportions 55,000 visas each year to people from underrepresented, often poor countries.

"There's no question that a STEM green-card program is the right thing to do for our country," said Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) on the House floor, according to the Chronicle, adding that "there's no reason that giving a green card to one person should mean taking one away from someone else."

The Chronicle also says that that the measure is unlikely to be passed by the Senate.

The Scan

Rise of B.1.617.2 in the UK

According to the Guardian, UK officials expect the B.1.617.2 variant to soon be the dominant version of SARS-CoV-2 there.

Anne Schuchat to Retire

Anne Schuchat is retiring after more than 30 years at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Politico reports.

US to Share More Vaccines

CNN reports that the US will share 20 million doses of the Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson SARS-CoV-2 vaccines with other countries.

PNAS Papers on Gene Therapy Platform, Aspergillus Metabolome, Undernutrition Model Microbiome

In PNAS this week: approach to deliver protein-based treatments to cells, pan-secondary metabolome of Aspergillus, and more.