Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Vox Populi, Vox Dei

Readers of the New York Times wrote in to the paper to add their two cents' worth about the nomination of Francis Collins as NIH director, particularly relating to Sam Harris' op-ed. (For those of you tired of reading about Collins, we give you this blog post from Scientific Blogging on the sport of cheese-rolling to hold your attention.)

Brown's Ken Miller says that the op-ed "demonstrates nothing so much as Mr. Harris' own deeply held prejudices against religion." Miller goes on to say that "the suspicion that Dr. Collins's faith would lead him to suppress research is sharply contradicted by his administration of the genome project and the profound scientific curiosity that has marked his entire career."

John Haught, a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center, adds that it is "too bad Mr. Harris wasn't around to teach Kepler, Galileo, Newton, Boyle, Maxwell, Dobzhansky and countless other scientific luminaries that their theological understanding was an obstacle to their science."

And the Rev. Joseph Herring from Alpharetta, Ga, writes, "From a scientific perspective, it is essential that research into unsolved problems not be short-circuited by conclusions already reached through unscientific methods."

The Scan

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.