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Goings-On at FDA

The FDA awarded a $1.5 million contract for morale-boosting to a consultant who showed a slide show at a retreat for FDA employees that "likened the agency's top drug regulator, Janet Woodcock, to 'visionary leaders' such as Golda Meir and Gandhi," reports the Wall Street Journal. Texas Representative Joe Barton told the Journal: "It's a cinch that if I spent a nickel of taxpayers' money to rank myself with [Sam] Houston and [Stephen F.] Austin, I'd have some explaining to do after the laughter died down."

A separate WSJ article reports that a group of FDA scientists sent a letter to the Obama transition team, asking him to restructure the agency. The authors say that the review of medical devices has been "corrupted and distorted by current FDA managers, thereby placing the American people at risk," according to the article. The group sent a similar letter back in October.

The Scan

Alzheimer's Risk Gene Among Women

CNN reports that researchers have found that variants in MGMT contribute to Alzheimer's disease risk among women but not men.

Still Hanging Around

The Guardian writes that persistent pockets of SARS-CoV-2 in the body could contribute to long COVID.

Through a Little Spit

Enteric viruses like norovirus may also be transmitted through saliva, not just the fecal-oral route, according to New Scientist.

Nature Papers Present Method to Detect Full Transcriptome, Viruses Infecting Asgard Archaea, More

In Nature this week: VASA-seq approach to detect full transcriptome, analysis of viruses infecting Asgard archaea, and more.