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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

US Booster Eligibility Decision

The US CDC director recommends that people at high risk of developing COVID-19 due to their jobs also be eligible for COVID-19 boosters, in addition to those 65 years old and older or with underlying medical conditions.

Arizona Bill Before Judge

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a judge is weighing whether a new Arizona law restricting abortion due to genetic conditions is a ban or a restriction.

Additional Genes

Wales is rolling out new genetic testing service for cancer patients, according to BBC News.

Science Papers Examine State of Human Genomic Research, Single-Cell Protein Quantification

In Science this week: a number of editorials and policy reports discuss advances in human genomic research, and more.