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Tootsie Rolls, Cheapo Pens, and the Future of Science

In an editorial in The Scientist, Steven Wiley explains why his favorite part of life science conferences is meeting with the vendors. “Talks and posters are about where biology has been — but the booths with the sales pitches and freebies tell you where science is going,” he writes. Wiley, a lead biologist for the Environmental Molecular Science Laboratory, and director of biomolecular systems of the Systems Biology department at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, writes that he, too, has been on the “vendor side” of conferences; formerly, he wrote software for a company in the early 1990s that presented their products at the annual American Society for Cell Biology meetings. He writes that many of the vendors at conferences as equally as passionate about their products as researchers are about sharing their data. “So the next time you go to a scientific meeting, stop by the vendor booths and ask about the future,” Wiley advises. “And pick up some candy.”

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.