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NIH Seeks to Rein in Conflict of Interest

The Chronicle of Higher Education's Paul Basken reports NIH is proposing tougher conflict of interest rules for any researchers it backs. The new rule would mean that researchers getting financial backing from industry must disclose anything they receive above $5,000; the current reporting level is set at $10,000. The new rule would also require universities to give NIH details of plans to reduce their staff members' conflicts of interest, Basken says. "The public trust in what we do is just essential, and we cannot afford to take any chances with the integrity of the research process," said NIH director Francis Collins in a briefing. But, adds Basken, the plan still gives universities plenty of leeway to decide themselves whether a financial conflict of interest is relevant to government-funded research. Also, the plan doesn't contain any reference to penalties or mechanisms for enforcement, Basken says.

The Scan

Gone, But Now Reconstructed SARS-CoV-2 Genomes

In a preprint, a researcher describes his recovery of viral sequences that had been removed from a common database.

Rare Heart Inflammation Warning

The Food and Drug Administration is adding a warning about links between a rare inflammatory heart condition and two SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, Reuters reports.

Sandwich Sampling

The New York Times sent tuna sandwiches for PCR analysis.

Nature Papers Describe Gut Viruses, New Format for Storing Quantitative Genomic Data, More

In Nature this week: catalog of DNA viruses of the human gut microbiome, new dense depth data dump format to store quantitative genomic data, and more.