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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

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.