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Stanford University has cleared three researchers there, including Stephen Quake, of any wrongdoing in connection with He Jiankui's work on gene-edited infants, the New York Times reports.

He revealed in November the birth of twin girls whose genomes he had edited as embryos, an announcement that roiled much of the scientific community and sparked investigations, both in China and the US. Stanford was looking into the roles of Quake — in whose lab He did a postdoc — as well as of bioethicist William Hurlbut and gene-editing researcher Matthew Porteus in the work.

In a statement issued yesterday, Stanford says its investigation found that its researchers were not involved in the work and that they expressed misgivings about it to He and urged him to follow the necessary ethical protocols. Quake similarly told the New York Times earlier this week that he encouraged He to do the work properly.

The Chinese state news agency Xinhua reported in January that a preliminary investigation conducted by China's Guangdong Province found He performed his gene-editing work illegally and forged an ethical review certificate.

The Scan

Omicron's Emergence

The World Health Organization has called Omicron a SARS-CoV-2 "variant of concern," the Los Angeles Times writes.

Not as Much

Merck's pill to treat COVID-19 reduces the risk of hospitalization and death among COVID-19 patients by less than previously reported, the New York Times says.

Bats That Hang Together

Discover magazine writes that researchers have found a social microbiome among vampire bats.

PLOS Papers on CEWAS, Simian Varicella Virus Transcriptome, Dermatomyositis Markers

In PLOS this week: multi-omic approach to home in on genetic risk variants, transcriptomic analysis of the simian varicella virus, and more.