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In work out of Dave Bartel's MIT lab, researchers found that even though RNAi has not been conserved in the model budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, it is present in other species, including S. castellii and Candida albicans. These two species use "noncanonical" Dicer proteins to make small interfering RNAs that mostly correspond to transposable elements and Y' subtelomeric repeats, they say, and when they introduced Dicer and Argonaute of S. castellii into S.

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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.