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Congressional Consequences

"Federal financing of science research, which has risen quickly since the Obama administration came to power, could fall back to pre-Obama levels if the incoming Republican leadership in the House of Representatives follows through on its list of campaign promises," reports the New York Times' Kenneth Chang. In speaking with the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Patrick Clemins and Joanne Carney, Chang discusses the potential impacts that the Republicans' Pledge to America platform — under which R&D spending for non-military agencies would be slashed by 12.3 percent for fiscal year 2011 — could have on research programs funded by the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. In particular, Chang says, funding for stem cell research remains an "uncertainty." Carney, director of the AAAS Center for Science, Technology, and Congress, told the Times: "I think everyone is holding their breaths and seeing what happens in the courts."

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal's Alicia Mundy highlights how a new Republican majority in the House could benefit pharma. According to Mundy, "the pharmaceutical industry hopes to hold on to concessions it won from Democrats during their recent brief reign in Congress, while benefiting from anti-regulatory sentiment among Republicans who captured the House."

The Scan

Study Finds Few FDA Post-Market Regulatory Actions Backed by Research, Public Assessments

A Yale University-led team examines in The BMJ safety signals from the US FDA Adverse Event Reporting System and whether they led to regulatory action.

Duke University Team Develops Programmable RNA Tool for Cell Editing

Researchers have developed an RNA-based editing tool that can target specific cells, as they describe in Nature.

Novel Gene Editing Approach for Treating Cystic Fibrosis

Researchers in Science Advances report on their development of a non-nuclease-based gene editing approach they hope to apply to treat cystic fibrosis.

Study Tracks Responses in Patients Pursuing Polygenic Risk Score Profiling

Using interviews, researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics qualitatively assess individuals' motivations for, and experiences with, direct-to-consumer polygenic risk score testing.