In a second research report published this year so far, investigators found that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is approving drugs faster than ever. Unfortunately, it appears that the agency is also approving those drugs on less data and weaker evidence. The first study published in the journal SSRN was by researchers at Harvard University, the University of Texas at Dallas, and the Massachusetts Institute…
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A recent Trump administration decision to limit funding of research that uses fetal tissue is already disrupting research into major diseases, including AIDS, Down syndrome and diabetes, scientists say. The controversial federal funding rules, announced seven months ago, are reshaping scientists’ research paths and the grants they seek from the National Institutes of Health. Graduate students cannot get training grants if…
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Kelvin K. Droegemeier, the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, is on a mission to protect the security and integrity of the American research enterprise. And while he doesn’t dismiss the existence of foreign threats to US researchers, he says those threats should be kept in perspective: the overall enterprise is secure. That was one…
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For 20 years, the U.S. government has urged companies, universities, and other institutions that conduct clinical trials to record their results in a federal database, so doctors and patients can see whether new treatments are safe and effective. Few trial sponsors have consistently done so, even after a 2007 law made posting mandatory for many trials registered in the database.…
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Congress is expected to approve an annual defense bill as early as this week that would create two federal bodies aimed at preventing foreign government influence in scientific research. The final version of the bill, called the National Defense Authorization Act, was released Monday (December 9), according to a Senate press release. One group established by the act would be a White House…
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A proposed rule by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that allegedly aims to strengthen transparency in regulatory science suggests that science is broken. It isn’t. We know it works because we can see the life-saving transplant technologies, hurricane forecasts, new medications, pest-resistant crops, and countless other breakthroughs that exist because of science. This discipline isn’t perfect, but it is the best…
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Earlier this year a source sent us a copy of an unpublished manuscript describing the creation of the first gene-edited babies, born last year in China. Today, we are making excerpts of that manuscript public for the first time. Titled “Birth of Twins After Genome Editing for HIV Resistance,” and 4,699 words long, the still unpublished paper was authored by…
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Trump Plan Would Limit Research Used to Protect Public Health

A new proposal from the Trump Administration would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from using certain types of data to help create public health regulations. Experts say the proposed rule would undermine the science that underpins important government policies that protect health. Under the proposal, the raw data used in epidemiological studies would have to be made public. But…
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The U.S. National Institutes of Health last week released a draft policy that will require all investigators with NIH funding to make their data sets available to colleagues. For the first time, grantees holding any NIH-funded grant—not just those above a $500,000 threshold in direct costs—will need to submit a detailed plan for sharing data, including steps to protect the privacy of…
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Questioning Facebook’s Foray into Preventive Health

A new health care feature from Facebook called “Preventive Health” is aimed at encouraging users to get recommended screenings like mammograms and blood pressure tests, and to focus on other disease-preventing measures like getting a flu shot. But it remains to be seen whether the new feature will help boost health, according to experts. In a November 4, 2019 Mashable…
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