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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

Not Yet a Permanent One

NPR says the lack of a permanent Food and Drug Administration commissioner has "flummoxed" public health officials.

Unfair Targeting

Technology Review writes that a new report says the US has been unfairly targeting Chinese and Chinese-American individuals in economic espionage cases.

Limited Rapid Testing

The New York Times wonders why rapid tests for COVID-19 are not widely available in the US.

Genome Research Papers on IPAFinder, Structural Variant Expression Effects, Single-Cell RNA-Seq Markers

In Genome Research this week: IPAFinder method to detect intronic polyadenylation, influence of structural variants on gene expression, and more.