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Chilean Science

Part of the scientific community in Chile is pushing for greater national investment in science and the creation of a science ministry, writes Pablo Astudillo Besnier, who is part of the More Science for Chile coordination team, in The Guardian. Earlier this year, Astudillo Besnier and his colleagues wrote in a letter in Science that "politicians, researchers, and even international organizations have criticized Chile's lack of a modern and appropriate government policy for research" and that "Chile desperately needs to update its national planning for research."

However, in a rebuttal letter in Science, Jose Aguilera from CONICYT, which is Chile's governmental science funding agency, says that that CONICYT's budget increased about 2.7 times between 2008 and 2012 and that CONICYT does have research plans — he points to efforts to increase access to new lab equipment and electronic journals as well as the formation of new international science research centers. Aguilera adds that a ministry will only lead to greater bureaucracy.

In The Guardian, Astudillo Besnier says that he hopes that the promotion of scientific research will be incorporated into the upcoming Chilean presidential elections.

The Scan

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.

Study Reveals Potential Sex-Specific Role for Noncoding RNA in Depression

A long, noncoding RNA called FEDORA appears to be a sex-specific regulator of major depressive disorder, affecting more women, researchers report in Science Advances.

New mRNA Vaccines Offer Hope for Fighting Malaria

A George Washington University-led team has developed mRNA vaccines for malaria that appear to provide protection in mice, as they report in NPJ Vaccines.

Unique Germline Variants Found Among Black Prostate Cancer Patients

Through an exome sequencing study appearing in JCO Precision Oncology, researchers have found unique pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants within a cohort of Black prostate cancer patients.