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Ah, the Irony

In light of President-elect Barack Obama's support for stem cell research, many hope to see federal restrictions on human embryo research relaxed once he hits office, including overturning federal funding limits. However, inertia might be in the limiting factor as to how fast this will happen. "To make stem-cell science take off, it needs something equivalent to Nixon's war on cancer," says the University of Wisconsin's James Thomson in a story in the Wall Street Journal. "But because of today’s economic realities, it's not going to happen for at least a couple of years."

Many states have forged ahead to fund stem cell research locally. California, for instance, has entered into research agreements with Canada, Australia, the UK, and Japan. And while "red tape and poor investment threatens the future of UK stem cell work," according to this BBC story, scientists there continue to rely on agreements and future potential of getting funding for human trials in the US.

 

The Scan

Myotonic Dystrophy Repeat Detected in Family Genome Sequencing Analysis

While sequencing individuals from a multi-generation family, researchers identified a myotonic dystrophy type 2-related short tandem repeat in the European Journal of Human Genetics.

TB Resistance Insights Gleaned From Genome Sequence, Antimicrobial Response Assays

Researchers in PLOS Biology explore M. tuberculosis resistance with a combination of sequencing and assays looking at the minimum inhibitory concentrations of 13 drugs.

Mendelian Disease Genes Prioritized Using Tissue-Specific Expression Clues

Mendelian gene candidates could be flagged for further functional analyses based on tissue-specific transcriptome and proteome profiles, a new Journal of Human Genetics paper says.

Single-Cell Sequencing Points to Embryo Mosaicism

Mosaicism may affect preimplantation genetic tests for aneuploidy, a single-cell sequencing-based analysis of almost three dozen embryos in PLOS Genetics finds.