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Ray Wu, Bard Geesaman, Julie Golden

Ray Wu, a professor of molecular biology and genetics at Cornell University, died last week at the age of 79. According to Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Wu in 1970 developed the first method for sequencing DNA, as well as fundamental tools for DNA cloning. He joined the Cornell faculty in 1966. Born in Beijing in 1928, Wu came to the US in 1948, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, and a doctoral degree in biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania.

Bard Geesaman has become executive director of life sciences of the X Prize Foundation, where he will be responsible for developing, funding, and running new prizes in the area of life sciences, which will include cancer, healthcare, and genomics prizes. The foundation intends to launch 10 to 15 new prizes, worth $300 million, over the next seven years, several of which will be in the life sciences. Geesaman comes to the X Prize Foundation from MPM Capital, where he worked as a venture partner. He holds a PhD in systems and computational neurobiology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an MD from Harvard Medical School, and a BS in systems neurobiology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Julie Golden has become technical leader for the forensic processing laboratory of DNA Security. She has served as a senior forensic DNA analyst and QA officer for a government crime laboratory, a forensic DNA auditor, and as a CODIS consultant to several government crime laboratories.

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 over 65 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.