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Pretty Genes for All

BeautifulPeople.com promises to match beautiful people up with other beautiful people for the purposes of matching sperm and egg donors with infertile couples or single women, reports AOL News' Lisa Flam. The site, originally a dating site — for pretty people only — is also considering letting unattractive people join its new fertility forum. Flam quotes one of the site's founders, Robert Hintze, as saying in a statement, "Initially, we hesitated to widen the offering to non-beautiful people. But everyone — including ugly people — would like to bring good-looking children into the world, and we can't be selfish with our attractive gene pool." The dating site has 600,000 members, and so far about 150 of them have said they'd be interested in donating sperm or eggs, Flam says. Bioethicist Art Caplan called the site a form of eugenics, Flam adds. "It's pure, utter nonsensical baloney, at best," Caplan tells Flam. "The genetics of attractiveness is something that we understand almost nothing about. There's no guarantee that attractive parents will produce attractive children."

Summer Johnson at blog.bioethics.net adds that the site is "hilarious and fascinating hucksterism at its finest."

The Scan

Highly Similar

Researchers have uncovered bat viruses that are highly similar to SARS-CoV-2, according to Nature News.

Gain of Oversight

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Biden Administration is considering greater oversight of gain-of-function research.

Lasker for mRNA Vaccine Work

The Scientist reports that researchers whose work enabled the development of mRNA-based vaccines are among this year's Lasker Award winners

PLOS Papers on Causal Variant Mapping, Ancient Salmonella, ALK Fusion Test for NSCLC

In PLOS this week: MsCAVIAR approach to map causal variants, analysis of ancient Salmonella, and more.