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Cao Xuetao

Immunologist Cao Xuetao has been barred from applying for grants for a year.Credit: VCG/Getty

Leading immunologist Cao Xuetao has been cleared of significant wrong-doing more than a year after the Chinese government launched an investigation to review 63 manuscripts co-authored by Cao that contained suspected problematic images. The investigating committee found that none of the papers contained plagiarized or fabricated data, but some had images had been “misused”, which “reflected a lack of rigorous laboratory management”. Cao must now correct those papers and has been barred from applying for grants or recruiting students for a year. Critics have expressed concerns that the investigation revealed few details, such as how many of Cao’s papers contained misused images.

Nature | 5 min read

Virologist Christian Drosten, who is leading Germany’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, addresses everything from the more-infectious B.1.1.7 variant and his worries about a summer spike in an interview with Der Spiegel. Even with vaccines being rolled out to older and more-vulnerable people, infection-mitigation measures must be maintained, says Drosten. Otherwise, “huge numbers of people will become infected within just a short amount of time, more than we can even imagine”, he says. “Then the intensive care units will fill up anyway.” His biggest mistake? “Spending too much time reading Twitter,” he says. “Doing so just drives you crazy.”

Der Spiegel | 12 min read

Features & opinion

Nature Electronics’s 2021 technology of the year highlights the use of digital technology during the coronavirus pandemic and the impact that the pandemic could have on the relationship between technology and society. Explore new developments in contact tracing, how wearable electronics are changing health monitoring and the future of online education.

Nature Electronics | 6-article collection

As a Colombian–Spanish student in New York, plant scientist Cecilia Zumajo-Cardona is officially an ‘alien’, according to US customs officials and law. The term used to make her laugh — but it became increasingly less amusing as 2020 progressed. “Last year brought many changes that I couldn’t control, and, although my work was pandemic-proof, I was not,” Zumajo-Cardona says. Despite the challenges of writing her dissertation in a pandemic, she’s optimistic about 2021.

Nature | 5 min read

It is time to move beyond tumour sequencing data to identify vulnerabilities in cancers, argue the leaders of the Cancer Dependency Map project at the Wellcome Sanger Institute in the United Kingdom and the Broad Institute in the United States. Their aim is to evaluate every gene and drug perturbation in every possible type of cancer in laboratory experiments, and to make the data accessible to researchers and machine-learning experts worldwide.

Nature | 9 min read

Big projects, big insights. A comparison between The Cancer Genome Atlas and The Cancer Dependency Map.

Image of the week

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