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The Good News, and the Bad News

The US Senate is pleased by the creation of the new National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, but recently "scolded" the National Institutes of Health for its messy creation process, reports ScienceInsider's Jocelyn Kaiser. The Senate expressed its grievance in a note that accompanied the 2012 spending bill recently approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee — the bill cuts NIH's budget by 0.6 percent (to $30.5 billion) next year, Kaiser says. NCATS would receive $582 million, less than the $722 million NIH originally requested for the new center. "NIH had also requested $100 million within NCATS for the Cures Acceleration Network, a new program created by the 2010 health care reform bill. Instead, the Senate panel gave CAN $20 million," Kaiser adds. In the report attached to the bill, the Senate committee said NCATS will change the way NIH does business as it relates to translation, but added that it was disappointed by the way the Obama administration had requested funds for the center. According to the report, "The president's 2012 budget released in February included only a 'vague description' of NCATS and no budget details, which 'caused unnecessary uncertainty' and 'contributed to the impression that it was being rushed,'" Kaiser says.

The Scan

CDC Calls Delta "Variant of Concern"

CNN reports the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now considers the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 to be a "variant of concern."

From FDA to Venture Capital

Former FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn is taking a position at a venture capital firm, leading some ethicists to raise eyebrows, according to the Washington Post.

Consent Questions

Nature News writes that there are questions whether informed consent was obtained for some submissions to a database of Y-chromosome profiles.

Cell Studies on Multimodal Single-Cell Analysis, Coronaviruses in Bats, Urban Microbiomes

In Cell this week: approach to analyze multimodal single-cell genomic data, analysis of bat coronaviruses, and more.