As American voters each cast a ballot in next month’s election, it’s hard to fathom just how much is crammed onto that single piece of paper — divergent visions about democracy, the rule of law, the meaning of justice, and the aspiration to fulfill our founding creed that we are all created equal.There’s also one more thing we’re deciding —…
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Over the course of her exceptional career, Amgen Professor of Biology Emerita Nancy Hopkins has overturned assumptions and defied expectations at the lab bench and beyond. After arriving at MIT in 1973, she set to work mapping RNA tumor virus genes, before switching her focus and pioneering zebrafish as a model system to probe vertebrate development and cancer. Her experiences…
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“It is more important to know what kind of patient the disease has than to know what kind of disease the patient has.” Although Hippocrates made this keen observation more than 2,400 years ago, physicians did not have the tools to decipher the biological and environmental factors influencing an individual’s health and well-being until recently. Since the human genome was finally mapped…
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A group of nine leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies pledged on Tuesday to only seek approval for Covid-19 vaccines demonstrated to be safe and effective, an apparent attempt to provide public reassurance despite the widely held view that the Covid-19 vaccine development process is politically tainted. In a statement, the companies pledged to “make the safety and well-being of vaccinated…
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No recent biomedical experiment has caused more consternation than He Jiankui’s creation of the first gene-edited babies, in 2018, which was widely seen as dangerous, unethical, and premature—and which led to his incarceration by China. Now, an international committee has concluded that gene-editing methods, despite substantial improvements, are still far from mature enough to safely introduce heritable DNA modifications into…
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Coronavirus testing is set to get faster. Yesterday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave an emergency use authorization to Abbott Laboratories for a 15-minute test that should ease bottlenecks. Analogous to tests that detect HIV and influenza, the new diagnostic detects viral proteins, or antigens, that are unique to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Unlike conventional coronavirus…
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Pfizer’s disclosure last week that it may reverse plans to in-shore manufacturing facilities and science jobs to the United States is just the tip of the iceberg of the problems we’ll face if President Trump implements his executive order to implement foreign reference pricing to determine drug prices under Medicare. The order announced July 31 is the long-threatened nuclear option against biopharmaceutical…
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In a swift reversal, the Trump administration has agreed to rescind a directive that would have barred international college students from the U.S. if their colleges offered classes entirely online in the fall semester. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement rule change, released last week, would have prohibited foreign students from entering or remaining in the country to take fully online…
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A new U.S. immigration policy announced Monday, which threatens to revoke visas for certain international students if they are not taking in-person classes, is stirring panic and confusion and causing some universities to push back with lawsuits. The policy states that international students who are currently enrolled in online-only programs will need to leave the country immediately or transfer to a…
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With a proclamation issued on Monday, US President Donald Trump extended and expanded immigration restrictions to limit the entry of foreign workers to the United States. The move set off ripples of alarm among scientists and drew fire from experts concerned about the future of US science. According to the order, the United States will stop issuing certain categories of…
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