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Lander Nominated for Science Advisor

President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Eric Lander to serve as his science advisor and director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Associated Press reports. Lander will need to be confirmed by the Senate, it adds.

If confirmed, Lander, the president and founding director of the Broad Institute, would be the first life scientist to hold the position, the AP notes. NBC News adds that President-elect Biden plans to elevate the OSTP director to a Cabinet-level position, which it says is meant to underscore the incoming Biden Administration's commitment to science. "We're going to lead with science and truth," Biden said this weekend, according to NBC News. "We believe in both."

President-elect Biden has also asked Francis Collins to stay on as the director of the National Institutes of Health, the AP reports. "I predict he will have a profound transformational effect on American science," Collins said of Lander, according to the AP.

President-elect Biden has further selected Frances Arnold and Maria Zuber to co-chair the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, the Guardian adds, and has chosen Rachel Levine to be assistant secretary for health in the department of Health and Human Services, NPR says. Levine, it adds, could be the first transgender federal official to be confirmed by the Senate.

The Scan

Interfering With Invasive Mussels

The Chicago Tribune reports that researchers are studying whether RNA interference- or CRISPR-based approaches can combat invasive freshwater mussels.

Participation Analysis

A new study finds that women tend to participate less at scientific meetings but that some changes can lead to increased involvement, the Guardian reports.

Right Whales' Decline

A research study plans to use genetic analysis to gain insight into population decline among North American right whales, according to CBC.

Science Papers Tie Rare Mutations to Short Stature, Immunodeficiency; Present Single-Cell Transcriptomics Map

In Science this week: pair of mutations in one gene uncovered in brothers with short stature and immunodeficiency, and more.