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Launching an independent research career can be tough, especially during challenging budget times. At the Rock Talk Blog, Sally Rockey, the deputy director for extramural research at the US National Institutes of Health, notes that the average age for new investigators — researchers who haven't received a major independent research award — is 42 for PhDs and 44 for MDs or MD/PhDs.

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Public health experts call for a transparent COVID-19 vaccine approval process in a letter; the Food and Drug Administration commissioner assures science-based approval.

The Verge reports that new gene-naming guidelines aim in part to avoid Excel-related name change confusion.

In Nature this week: tuatara genome sequence aids in understanding amniote evolution, and more.

According to the Guardian, UK virologists say in a letter to officials that their expertise has been pushed aside in COVID-19 response plans.