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Ideas from Unexpected Places

Have an innovative idea? Even if it's not omics-y and necessarily in your wheelhouse, that's what one grant programs is looking for. The Global Challenges this year, in response to the ongoing epidemic in West Africa, is looking for new designs for a protective suit, NPR reports.

The US Agency for International Development announced a $5 million contest earlier this week that's looking for cooler, more breathable designs for protective suits. And anyone can enter.

A previous challenge idea came from Jorge Odon, a mechanic in Argentina, who designed a way using a plastic sleeve and an air pump to help a fetus that's having trouble getting through the birth canal. His idea was inspired by a YouTube video he saw for getting a cork out of an empty wine bottle using a plastic bag.

"Part of what we try to do under this type of funding is not to incrementally advance the state of knowledge but to take a risk on new ideas," Steve Buchsbaum, who leads the Gates Foundation's Grand Challenge program, tells NPR. He notes that many of the idea won't work out, but some might.

The Scan

Could Cost Billions

NBC News reports that the new Alzheimer's disease drug from Biogen could cost Medicare in the US billions of dollars.

Not Quite Sent

The Biden Administration likely won't meet its goal of sending 80 million SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses abroad by the end of the month, according to the Washington Post.

DTC Regulation Proposals

A new report calls on UK policymakers to review direct-to-consumer genetic testing regulations, the Independent reports.

PNAS Papers on Mosquito MicroRNAs, Acute Kidney Injury, Trichothiodystrophy

In PNAS this week: microRNAs involved in Aedes aegypti reproduction, proximal tubule cell response to kidney injury, and more.