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Surely It Can't Be That Difficult to Find a Muzzle in the Right Size

James Watson is at it again. And by "at it," we mean, giving the American scientific community reason to cringe. Two separate articles from UK newspapers detail talks with him recently (he's on his book tour there right now, and it sounds like the Brits are already eager for him to leave) in which he spreads insults far and wide.

This story from the Independent says that Watson "was embroiled in an extraordinary row" after he said that "black people were less intelligent than white people and the idea that 'equal powers of reason' were shared across racial groups was a delusion." Just in case you had any doubt, yes, human rights and racial equality groups are already looking into whether his comments can be considered hate speech. Nicely done, Jim.

And just to make sure the offense isn't targeted at a single group, this article from the Guardian includes quotes from Watson about his impressions of erstwhile DNA structure collaborator Rosalind Franklin. The story quotes Watson as saying, "Rosalind is my cross. ... I'll bear it. I think she was partially autistic." He adds, "The truth was she couldn't think in three dimensions very well."


The Scan

Missed Early Cases

A retrospective analysis of blood samples suggests early SARS-CoV-2 infections may have been missed in the US, the New York Times reports.

Limited Journal Editor Diversity

A survey finds low diversity among scientific and medical journal editors, according to The Scientist.

How Much of a Threat?

Science writes that need for a provision aimed at shoring up genomic data security within a new US bill is being questioned.

PNAS Papers on Historic Helicobacter Spread, Brain Development, C. difficile RNAs

In PNAS this week: Helicobacter genetic diversity gives insight into human migrations, gene expression patterns of brain development, and more.