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New Rules: Dec 20, 2010

The Obama administration released long-awaited scientific integrity guidelines on Friday that aim to prevent political influence on scientific research conducted by government agencies, The New York Times reports. "Under the guidelines, government scientists are in general free to speak to journalists and the public about their work, and agencies are prohibited from editing or suppressing reports by independent advisory committees," the Times says. In response to criticisms of how scientific work was treated during the Bush administration, President Obama called on his science advisor John Holdren in March 2009 to come up with these guidelines within four months and Nature's The Great Beyond notes that watchdog groups are suing to discover the cause of the delay. Response to the guidelines appears to be cautious praise. "It does some incredible things," Francesca Grifo at the Union of Concerned Scientists tells the Los Angeles Times. "But it leaves a lot of crucial details in the hands of the agencies as they implement it."

The Scan

Rise of BA.5

The New York Times reports that the Omicron subvariant BA.5 has become the dominant version of SARS-CoV-2 in the US.

UK Health Secretary Resigns

Sajid Javid, the UK health secretary, resigned along with Chancellor Rishi Sunak, saying they cannot work with Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government, CNN reports.

Clones From Freeze-Dried Cells

A team in Japan has cloned mice from freeze-dried skin cells, according to the Guardian.

Genome Research Papers on Craniosynostosis, Macaque Retrotransposition, More

In Genome Research this week: structural variants in craniosynostosis, LINE-1 activity in rhesus macaque brain, and more.