Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Collins: 'Time to Accelerate hESC Research, Not Throw on the Brakes'

In this week's issue of The New Yorker, Peter Boyer examines Francis Collins: the political man, and Francis Collins: the devout Christian, paying particular attention to the NIH director's reactions to the recent federal ruling that has frozen federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. Collins also expresses his disappointment over the recent news coverage of the tenth anniversary of the human genome. Boyer writes of Collins' non-religious upbringing, his 'fundamentalist' atheist collegiate years, and eventual devotion to the Christian faith after a hiking trip in the Cascades. Boyer also talks about the NIH director's stance on ESC research. When it comes to ESC versus induced pluripotent stem cell research, Collins told the magazine that "…it's not 'either/or' that we should be pursuing. It's 'both/and.'" The reporter also speaks to Democratic representative Diana DeGette, of Colorado, who explains that Congress was aware of the potential of the Dickey-Wicker amendment to snag the Obama administration's policy on federally funded ESC research, but that at the time this possibility was discussed, "we had so many other things going on," she told The New Yorker. Of Judge Lamberth's injunction against the Obama administration's policy, Collins told The New Yorker:

This goes beyond politics. … Patients and their families are counting on us to do everything in our power, ethically and responsibly, to learn how to transform these cells into entirely new therapies. It's time to accelerate human-embryonic-stem-cell research, not throw on the brakes.
The Scan

Study Links Genetic Risk for ADHD With Alzheimer's Disease

A higher polygenic risk score for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is also linked to cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease, a new study in Molecular Psychiatry finds.

Study Offers Insights Into Role of Structural Variants in Cancer

A new study in Nature using cell lines shows that structural variants can enable oncogene activation.

Computer Model Uses Genetics, Health Data to Predict Mental Disorders

A new model in JAMA Psychiatry finds combining genetic and health record data can predict a mental disorder diagnosis before one is made clinically.

Study Tracks Off-Target Gene Edits Linked to Epigenetic Features

Using machine learning, researchers characterize in BMC Genomics the potential off-target effects of 19 computed or experimentally determined epigenetic features during CRISPR-Cas9 editing.