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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Some 54 scientists have resigned or been fired as a result of an ongoing investigation by the National Institutes of Health into the failure of NIH grantees to disclose financial ties to foreign governments. In 93% of those cases, the hidden funding came from a Chinese institution. The new numbers come from Michael Lauer, NIH’s head of extramural research. Lauer had previously provided some information on…
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The National Science Foundation (NSF) would get a sweeping remake—including a new name, a huge infusion of cash, and responsibility for maintaining U.S. global leadership in innovation—under bipartisan bills that have just been introduced in both houses of Congress. Many scientific leaders are thrilled that the bills call for giving NSF an additional $100 billion over 5 years to carry…
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Scientific publishers, universities, librarians, and open-access (OA) advocates are waiting anxiously to see whether the Trump administration will end a long-standing policy and require that every scholarly article produced with U.S. funding be made immediately free to all. Such a mandate has long been fiercely opposed by some publishers and scientific societies that depend on subscription revenues from journals. But…
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