Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

California: A Little Less Special Today

President Obama is expected to announce today that he will reverse the limits on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research that were put in place by the Bush administration. According to this New York Times story, an unnamed source "said the president would also speak about a general return to 'sound science' in his administration."

The Wall Street Journal makes the case that removing the limits "will re-energize U.S. researchers and likely bring tens of millions of dollars to university labs." That's because the funding restrictions meant private companies "have led the way in embryonic-stem-cell research" during the past several years; this change will likely shift momentum toward universities, the article says. Don't celebrate too soon, though: the WSJ story notes, however, that "the new policy won't affect federal laws that prevent the use of federal money to destroy human embryos." Apparently that would have to be changed by a Congressional act.

Over at BBC, editor Justin Webb blogs about the stem cell decision, calling it both "a repudiation of a Bush policy" and a further sign of "the strange death of socially conservative America."

The Scan

Long COVID-19 Susceptibility Clues Contained in Blood Plasma Proteome

A longitudinal study in eBioMedicine found weeks-long blood plasma proteome shifts after SARS-CoV-2 infection, along with proteomic signatures that appeared to coincide with long Covid risk.

Tibetan Study Finds Adaptive Variant Influencing Skin Pigmentation

With a combination of phenotyping and genetic data, researchers document at PNAS a Tibetan-enriched enhancer variant influencing melanin synthesis and ultraviolet light response.

Domestication Linked to Nervous System Genes in Inbred Mouse Strains

Researchers highlighted more than 300 positively selected genes in domesticated mice, including genes linked to nervous system function or behavior in Genome Biology.

ALS Genetic Testing May Be Informative Across Age Ranges, Study Finds

Researchers in the journal Brain identified clinically actionable variants in a significant subset of older ALS patients, prompting them to point to the potential benefits of broader test use.