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New Rules: Jul 7, 2009

NIH issued the final rules for federally sponsored embryonic stem cell research and they become effective today. Older lines may still be eligible for use. "Many of the lines already in existence may have met very rigorous standards of informed consent but may have been implemented in ways not consistent with the present guidelines," Dr. Kington says. "It's unreasonable to retroactively apply procedures intended for future use." The New York Times says that "the crucial test is whether the embryos used to create the stem cell lines were created for reproductive purposes, and whether donors freely consented for their use in research procedures." NIH will create a registry of which lines meet its eligibility requirements.

The Chronicle of Higher Education says that the new guidelines "won immediate endorsement from researchers and university groups, including the Association of American Medical Colleges and the Association of American Universities."

The Scan

And For Adolescents

The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for children between the ages of 12 and 15 years old.

Also of Concern to WHO

The Wall Street Journal reports that the World Health Organization has classified the SARS-CoV-2 variant B.1.617 as a "variant of concern."

Test for Them All

The New York Times reports on the development of combined tests for SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses like influenza.

PNAS Papers on Oral Microbiome Evolution, Snake Toxins, Transcription Factor Binding

In PNAS this week: evolution of oral microbiomes among hominids, comparative genomic analysis of snake toxins, and more.