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You're Not Helping

President Obama has recently called for a three-year freeze of all US federal, non-military employee salaries. But Mike the Mad Biologist says all this will do is "make things worse for research in the US." NIH program officers are already overworked and there aren't enough people to get the work done, he says, so this move will make morale worse and make retaining good people even more difficult. And the president's decision is even worse in light of where the money's going, Mike adds — not to fund Pell Grants or build some "supertrains," but to "pay for wars we should not be fighting, and keep taxes low on the wealthy. ... Not hopey. Not at all."

The Scan

Purnell Choppin Dies

Purnell Choppin, a virologist who led the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has died at 91, according to the Washington Post.

Effectiveness May Decline, Data From Israel Suggests

The New York Times reports that new Israeli data suggests a decline in Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine effectiveness against Delta variant infection, though protection against severe disease remains high.

To See Future Risk

Slate looks into the use of polygenic risk scores in embryo screening.

PLOS Papers on Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus, Bone Marrow Smear Sequencing, More

In PLOS this week: genomic analysis of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius, archived bone marrow sequencing, and more.