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Committee Votes on Lander

Eric Lander's nomination to lead to the Office of Science and Technology Policy is moving along, the Hill reports.

President Joe Biden named Lander as his science advisor nominee in January, and Lander's nomination hearing was held in late April. During the hearing, Lander faced questions about meetings he had with financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and concerns that he had downplayed the contributions of women to science. Lander told lawmakers that he twice briefly met Epstein and acknowledged that he had understated the contributions of Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier to the development of CRISPR. During the hearing, he also committed to promoting diversity and equity in science.

According to the Hill, the Senate Commerce Committee voted to advance Lander's nomination. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), the chair of the committee, tells Politico that she and Lander have come to an "understanding" that diversity would be promoted at OSTP and that the committee would be kept apprised of its efforts. "I know that adding diversity to the sciences will help us change what science we focus on,” she tells it. “So by adding diversity, we will be more representative.

Politico adds that his nomination will now head before the full Senate.

The Scan

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.