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Falling Behind

Research on human embryonic stem cells should absolutely get federal funding, writes David Scadden in a column for the Boston Globe. The co-director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute says that the US is losing out when it comes to stem cells, as funding controversies are forcing some researchers to halt their work and others to leave the country to work overseas. "That the United States has been attractive to the world’s scientific talent is in no small part because our government has invested courageously in big challenges. The new pattern — of fitful stops and starts in support for an area with potential to change medicine — puts us more in the ranks of the feckless than the fearless," Scadden says, adding that the loss of young stem cell researchers would "cost us all." Genome Technology has more on the stem cell research funding conundrum in its November issue cover story, here.

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.