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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

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.