COVID-19 Testing Gets Boost from NIH Funding Initiative

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is hoping to push COVID-19 testing to the next level by funding research groups who are innovating new testing technologies. A new initiative was recently announced that aims at speeding innovation, development, and commercialization of COVID-19 testing technologies. With a $1.5 billion investment from federal stimulus funding, the newly launched Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics…
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A survey of more than 4,000 researchers in the United States suggests that better coordination at an institutional and national level could make hundreds of thousands more tests for coronavirus available. The survey was prompted by a Nature investigation published on 9 April, revealing that several top university laboratories that have received regulatory approval to process tests for SARS-CoV-2 are operating at half their potential capacity.…
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Northeastern researchers are part of the network of teams creating models to advise the Trump administration on the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States, White House officials said Tuesday. They said data from the models formed the basis of President Donald J. Trump’s decision to extend the “social distancing” guidelines he set  two weeks ago, through the end of April.…
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When Science Can Harm

The students gather high above the Harvard Medical School campus in a tenth-floor New Research Building classroom, the blue glass of the high-rise next door providing a bright backdrop to their serious discussions around what scientists should consider when research has the potential to hurt people. “In addition to a long history in which science has benefited people, there are also theories…
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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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