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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

And Back

The New York Times reports that missing SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences are back in a different database.

Lacks Family Hires Attorney

A lawyer for the family of Henrietta Lacks plans to seek compensation from pharmaceutical companies that have used her cancer cells in product development, the Baltimore Sun reports.

For the Unknown

The Associated Press reports that family members are calling on the US military to use new DNA analysis techniques to identify unknown sailors and Marines who were on the USS Arizona.

PLOS Papers on Congenital Heart Disease, COVID-19 Infection Host MicroRNAs, Multiple Malformation Mutations

In PLOS this week: new genes linked to congenital heart disease, microRNAs with altered expression in COVID-19, and more.