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A team led by investigators at the Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine shows in a Science paper published online in advance this week that the transcription factor c-Maf/c-MAF "is crucial for mechanosensory function in mice and humans." The team also reports that humans with a dominant mutation in the c-MAF gene are sensitive to high-frequency vibrations.

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The World Health Organization will be providing low-cost COVID-19 tests to low- and middle-income nations, according to Reuters.

Nature News examines how the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court could affect scientific agencies.

Nobel Prize-winner Arthur Ashkin, who developed optical tweezers, has died at 98, the Washington Post reports.

In PNAS this week: altered gene expression in brain samples from Alzheimer's disease patients, effects of gene mutations found in bladder cancer, and more.