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The Creator Gets a PLOS One Mention

A PLOS One paper is causing a stir as it suggests that the biomechanical properties of human hands indicate a "proper design by the Creator." This has drawn criticism from many readers on Twitter and elsewhere, Retraction Watch says.

As Buzzfeed reports, Sam Million-Weaver tweeted that he is "[s]ad for science. DEEPLY disturbing lack of editorial oversight." He also wondered how the paper was able to get through peer review.

The paper, from three researchers at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China, was published in early January, but readers apparently didn't catch the mentions of "the Creator" in the paper's abstract, introduction, and conclusion until this week.

Comments left on the paper at the PLOS One site say that creationism is inappropriate for a scientific journal, and many ask PLOS One for a clarification or retraction of the paper.

In its own comment, PLOS One "apologize[s] that this language was not addressed internally or by the Academic Editor during the evaluation of the manuscript." It further says that it is looking into the concerns raised about the paper.

According to Retraction Watch, the paper's editor, Renzhi Han from Ohio State University, "implies the language was a mistake."

Buzzfeed adds that others are calling for a boycott of the journal. Neuroskeptic, for instance, tweets that "[s]everal @PLOSONE editors and authors are pledging to boycott the journal unless it deals with [this] swiftly."

The Scan

Booster for At-Risk

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for people 65 and older or at increased risk.

Preprints OK to Mention Again

Nature News reports the Australian Research Council has changed its new policy and now allows preprints to be cited in grant applications.

Hundreds of Millions More to Share

The US plans to purchase and donate 500 million additional SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses, according to the Washington Post.

Nature Papers Examine Molecular Program Differences Influencing Neural Cells, Population History of Polynesia

In Nature this week: changes in molecular program during embryonic development leads to different neural cell types, and more.