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John Mattick

Genomics England has appointed John Mattick as its first CEO. Mattick will join Genomics England in June from Australia's Garvan Institute of Medical Research, which he has led since 2012. Mattick is noted for his scientific contributions to understanding the human genome, specifically his work showing that most of the genome is not evolutionary 'junk' but instead is devoted to an extensive RNA regulatory system that organizes human development. He will continue his academic career while in the UK at the University of Oxford's Green Templeton College, where he has been elected to a senior research fellowship for one day a week.

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.