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Eric Jakobsson, James Cassatt, Andrew Whiteley


The National Institute of General Medical Sciences has appointed Eric Jakobsson as the first director of the NIGMS Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. He will take the reins from James Cassatt, director of the NIGMS Division of Cell Biology and Biophysics, who has served as CBCB’s acting director since the center was established in 2001. Prior to joining NIGMS, Jakobsson was a professor in the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology and served as director of the Center for Biophysics and Computational Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Jakobsson will also head the NIH-wide Biomedical Information Science and Technology Initiative.

Andrew Whiteley, most recently CEO of InforMax prior to the company’s acquisition by Invitrogen in December, has joined cellular assay technology firm Vitra Bioscience as president, CEO, and member of the board of directors.

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The Scan

And For Adolescents

The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for children between the ages of 12 and 15 years old.

Also of Concern to WHO

The Wall Street Journal reports that the World Health Organization has classified the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.617 as a "variant of concern."

Test for Them All

The New York Times reports on the development of combined tests for SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses like influenza.

PNAS Papers on Oral Microbiome Evolution, Snake Toxins, Transcription Factor Binding

In PNAS this week: evolution of oral microbiomes among hominids, comparative genomic analysis of snake toxins, and more.