The US government is investing heavily to breed more monkeys at the national facilities that house primates for biomedical research, Nature has learnt. The goal is to offset an ongoing shortage of these animals, which grew worse in 2020 as scientists tested scores of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments on primates before trials began in people. To make room for more monkeys, the…
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US President Joe Biden’s administration wants to create a US$6.5-billion agency to accelerate innovations in health and medicine — and revealed new details about the unit last month1. Dubbed ARPA-Health (ARPA-H), it is the latest in a line of global science agencies now being modelled on the renowned US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), whose work a generation ago…
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It was a good day for science in the U.S. House of Representatives. In back-to-back votes last night, members overwhelmingly approved two bills that would authorize massive spending increases at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science. One calls for more than doubling NSF’s current annual budget of $8.5 billion to $17.9 billion…
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Sethuraman Panchanathan has a lot to celebrate this week as he marks his first anniversary as director of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). President Joe Biden has asked Congress to boost its current $8.5 billion budget by 20% in 2022, and a bipartisan majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives has embraced the idea of making…
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A massive $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill now on its way to President Joe Biden’s desk will deliver cash to a wide array of groups—including the scientific community. The U.S. House of Representatives today approved final passage of the bill, which Biden is expected to sign on Friday, on a 220–211 party-line vote. The bill is designed primarily to address the…
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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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