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A Slight Change

The National Institutes of Health has issued a notice in the Federal Register seeking public comment on a proposed revision of the definition of human embryonic stem cells. The previous definition “had the unintended consequence of excluding certain hESCs which may otherwise be appropriate for federal funding,” the notice reads. The newly proposed definition amends that pluripotent cells derived from early stage embryos “up to and including the blastocyst stage” are to be considered hESCs, whereas the previous definition accounted for only cells in the blastocyst stage. Lana Skirboll, associate director of the NIH’s Office of Science Policy told Nature that the change is merely a “small technical revision.”

The Scan

Highly Similar

Researchers have uncovered bat viruses that are highly similar to SARS-CoV-2, according to Nature News.

Gain of Oversight

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Biden Administration is considering greater oversight of gain-of-function research.

Lasker for mRNA Vaccine Work

The Scientist reports that researchers whose work enabled the development of mRNA-based vaccines are among this year's Lasker Award winners

PLOS Papers on Causal Variant Mapping, Ancient Salmonella, ALK Fusion Test for NSCLC

In PLOS this week: MsCAVIAR approach to map causal variants, analysis of ancient Salmonella, and more.