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After the next round of grant submissions, the US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute says it will no longer accept investigator-initiated R21 applications, the agency says. In an announcement, NHLBI says that the point of the R21 grant was to give investigators time and money to produce preliminary data that could then be used to pursue larger studies. "However, the NHLBI has determined that this grant mechanism is not having the effect or the impact on its research grant portfolio in the manner for which it was originally intended," the agency says, adding that it is suspending the program, though it may fund targeted R21 requests. At his blog, DrugMonkey points out that NHLBI did not say anything about why the program was not having the desired effect. "If you have a desired goal, and the thing you thought would accomplish that goal isn't getting the job done, you might want to fix or replace it. Otherwise someone might conclude you aren't really interested in the goal in the first place," he writes.

The Scan

Renewed Gain-of-Function Worries

The New York Times writes that the pandemic is renewing concerns about gain-of-function research.

Who's Getting the Patents?

A trio of researchers has analyzed gender trends in biomedical patents issued between 1976 and 2010 in the US, New Scientist reports.

Other Uses

CBS Sunday Morning looks at how mRNA vaccine technology could be applied beyond SARS-CoV-2.

PLOS Papers Present Analysis of Cervicovaginal Microbiome, Glycosylation in Model Archaea, More

In PLOS this week: functional potential of the cervicovaginal microbiome, glycosylation patterns in model archaea, and more.