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Beautiful and Important: Not Mutually Exclusive

Even though PZ Myers' advice to press release writers is to substitute the word "important" with "beautiful" to avoid emphasizing the wrong things in scientific research news, Andre at Biocurious thinks that the most important thing about doing science is that it is important. If it weren't for the benefits to health and society (the National Endowment for the Arts puts $150 million into arts funding, while the NSF budgets $6 billion, he notes), he probably wouldn't have the job he has. Plus, he adds, "The response to Sarah Palin's imbecilic attack on fruit fly research would not have been half as effective if it had been only that fruit flies make beautiful experiments possible."

The Scan

Study Finds Few FDA Post-Market Regulatory Actions Backed by Research, Public Assessments

A Yale University-led team examines in The BMJ safety signals from the US FDA Adverse Event Reporting System and whether they led to regulatory action.

Duke University Team Develops Programmable RNA Tool for Cell Editing

Researchers have developed an RNA-based editing tool that can target specific cells, as they describe in Nature.

Novel Gene Editing Approach for Treating Cystic Fibrosis

Researchers in Science Advances report on their development of a non-nuclease-based gene editing approach they hope to apply to treat cystic fibrosis.

Study Tracks Responses in Patients Pursuing Polygenic Risk Score Profiling

Using interviews, researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics qualitatively assess individuals' motivations for, and experiences with, direct-to-consumer polygenic risk score testing.