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Mmm, Smells Like Conflict of Interest

Keith Robison has a new blog post about the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council's latest round of publicity. The industry organization just hired Robert Coughlin, former aide to Governor Deval Patrick, as its new president -- replacing Tom Finneran, whom Robison describes as "ethically challenged." Sadly, the new guy already's lost his luster, as reports emerged that Coughlin was actively working on the state's life science initiatives while he was interviewing for the post at MBC. Robison writes, "Many more shenanigans like this & biotech will be viewed as just another big business playing the corrupt political gain for private benefit at public expense."

You can also check out this coverage in the Boston Globe. And don't miss this story from our sister newsletter BioRegion News, which describes the council's first public defense of Coughlin's actions.


The Scan

And Back

The New York Times reports that missing SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences are back in a different database.

Lacks Family Hires Attorney

A lawyer for the family of Henrietta Lacks plans to seek compensation from pharmaceutical companies that have used her cancer cells in product development, the Baltimore Sun reports.

For the Unknown

The Associated Press reports that family members are calling on the US military to use new DNA analysis techniques to identify unknown sailors and Marines who were on the USS Arizona.

PLOS Papers on Congenital Heart Disease, COVID-19 Infection Host MicroRNAs, Multiple Malformation Mutations

In PLOS this week: new genes linked to congenital heart disease, microRNAs with altered expression in COVID-19, and more.