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Interference Task Force

The Biden Administration is to review government interference in science during the previous Trump Administration, the New York Times reports.

In a memo Monday, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy said it was establishing a task force to review the effectiveness of scientific integrity policies across the federal government, the Times adds. The group is tasked with preventing improper political interference affecting scientific or technological data, preventing the suppression or distortion of scientific or technological data, and supporting scientists and researchers.

"We know that there were blatant attempts to distort, to cherry pick and disregard science — we saw that across multiple agencies," Jane Lubchenco, the deputy director for climate and the environment at OSTP, tells the Times.

For instance, Axios notes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was forced to support President Donald Trump's claims that Hurricane Dorian would affect Alabama when it was not forecasted to do so. Additionally, the former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield has said he was pressured to change the agency's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, CNN adds.

Alondra Nelson, deputy director for science and society at OSTP, tells the Times that the aim of the task force isn't "to look backward" but to "implement practices and policies that prevent anything that might be uncovered from happening again."

The Scan

For STEM Students to Stay

New policy changes will make it easier for international STEM students to stay in the US after graduation, the Wall Street Journal reports.

To Inform or Not, To Know or Not

The New York Times writes that some genetic biobanks may re-contact donors if they spot something troublesome, but it notes that not all donors want that information.

Rapid Test Studies

Researchers are examining why rapid tests may be less effective at detecting the Omicron variant and how to improve them, NPR says.

PLOS Papers on SARS-CoV-2 Diversity in Delaware, Metastatic Breast Cancer, Adiposity GWAS

In PLOS this week: genomic analysis of SARS-CoV-2 isolates from Delaware, gene expression and protein-protein interaction patterns in metastatic breast cancer, and more.