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Nobelists Rising

An article at Science Progress looks at new Noblist Elizabeth Blackburn's tenure on George W. Bush's President's Council on Bioethics. The article says that Blackburn's progressive stance on human embryonic stem cell research irked the administration. Blackburn was appointed to the council in 2001 and her tenure was not renewed three years later. Blackburn then wrote: "In a telephone call from the White House one Friday afternoon in February, I was told that my services were no longer needed. The only explanation I was offered was that 'the White House has decided to make some changes in the bioethics council.'"

Another new Nobel-winner, Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, speaks out against Britain's research funding reforms, according to the Guardian. "There is a lot of focus now on trying to get very quick pay-offs in research. It is a huge mistake. Basic science has paid off far more than any directed research," he says. "If you don't invest properly in fundamental science, then you won't have the foundations to develop the technologies and applications of tomorrow. Ten years down the line, your technology will be based on obsolete foundations."

The Scan

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.