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What They Don't Like About You

Josh Witten at the Rugbyologist goes through the list he calls "10 Things PZ Myers Hates About You, Francis Collins" to determine if it has merit. First, Witten says, yes, Collins was part of the "biggest of BIG SCIENCE" as that's what NHGRI required, that being a "gene jockey" isn't a bad thing as Collins has been looking for the cause of human disease, and that having a biomedical focus is actually necessary for the NIH. Then Witten adds some of the other complaints — that Collins thinks humans are not evolving or that he thinks that so-called "junk DNA" is functional — may stem from misinterpreted statements. "Collins is definitely not perfect, but we could do, and have done, a lot worse," he says.

On a related note, Nature News reports that Collins will step down from his position at BioLogos, the foundation that aims to reconcile faith and science, before taking the helm at NIH. "Discussion about the foundation and his involvement with it could readily become a distraction from the business of running the NIH," says Harold Varmus, a member of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and past NIH director.

The Scan

Booster for At-Risk

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for people 65 and older or at increased risk.

Preprints OK to Mention Again

Nature News reports the Australian Research Council has changed its new policy and now allows preprints to be cited in grant applications.

Hundreds of Millions More to Share

The US plans to purchase and donate 500 million additional SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses, according to the Washington Post.

Nature Papers Examine Molecular Program Differences Influencing Neural Cells, Population History of Polynesia

In Nature this week: changes in molecular program during embryonic development leads to different neural cell types, and more.