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In the early edition of PNAS this week, Sarah Tishkoff, Carlos Bustamante, and their team examined population structure and ancestry patterns in West African and African American populations. The researchers incorporated new and old genotyping data to look at genetic patterns in a dozen African populations and 365 African Americans. In the African populations, language and geography usually corresponded to genetic patterns.

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President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Eric Lander to serve as director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Associated Press says.

Nature News writes that scientists are trying to figure out how to name the new strains of SARS-CoV-2 that are emerging.

The New York Times reports that researchers are studying identical twins who had COVID-19 to understand the influence of genetics on disease severity.

In PNAS this week: epistasis affecting cystic fibrosis, Tiger rattlesnake genome gives venom insight, and more.