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If Wishes Made It So

Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University, has been saying that the US National Institutes of Health should be restructured to focus on health care outcomes, rather than on scientific outcomes. In the Boston Globe last month, Crow wrote that NIH should have three institutes focused on basic biology, health outcomes, and "health transformation," by which Crow means overarching health care system problems such as affordability of treatment. In a follow-up article this week, Crow seeks to clarify his thought experiment, saying he is not calling for a reduction in funding or for a slowing of the pace of research. "My argument stems from concerns I share with both scientists and health care policy experts that this investment be better focused on improving clinical practice and health outcomes," he writes. "While undirected basic research may well lead to applications and treatments, the process is neither automatic nor inevitable, and I would argue that our measure of science should include an assessment of its social or economic impact as well as its scientific validity."

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.