Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

National Academy of Sciences May Expel Members

The US National Academy of Sciences may soon eject two members accused of sexual harassment, Science reports.

The academy in 2019 amended its bylaws to enable it to expel members who violated its code of conduct. That change was prompted by allegations of sexual harassment the previous year against Inder Verma, who was then at the Salk Institute and the editor-in-chief of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. While Verma subsequently resigned from those positions, the academy noted it had no means of removing him from its membership rolls.

According to Science, the academy may soon act to expel Geoffrey Marcy, a former University of California, Berkeley, astronomer, and Francisco Ayala, who was an evolutionary biologist at UC-Irvine, following complaints made against them and others. Title IX investigations at their institutes found both Marcy and Ayala guilty of sexual harassment, leading to their departures. Science notes that the Salk conducted an investigation of Verma, but its findings were not made public, preventing NAS from acting.

"We are watching social change happening in front of our eyes," Nancy Hopkins, an NAS member and emeritus biologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, tells Science. "It has been a long time coming."

The Scan

Sick Newborns Selected for WGS With Automated Pipeline

Researchers successfully prioritized infants with potential Mendelian conditions for whole-genome sequencing or rapid whole-genome sequencing, as they report in Genome Medicine.

Acne-Linked Loci Found Through GWAS Meta-Analysis

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics find new and known acne vulgaris risk loci with a genome-wide association study and meta-analysis, highlighting hair follicle- and metabolic disease-related genes.

Retina Cell Loss Reversed by Prime Editing in Mouse Model of Retinitis Pigmentosa

A team from China turns to prime editing to correct a retinitis pigmentosa-causing mutation in the PDE6b gene in a mouse model of the progressive photoreceptor loss condition in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

CRISPR Screens Reveal Heart Attack-Linked Gene

Researchers in PLOS Genetics have used CRISPR screens to home in on variants associated with coronary artery disease that affect vascular endothelial function.