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Politicians and Science

The White House and the US Food and Drug Administration have disagreed on policy for a range of issues, "from the regulation of sunscreens and asthma inhalers to the enforcement of an agency decision on a drug to prevent premature births," The New York Times reports. The Times adds that the Obama administration is more engaged in what FDA is doing — the administration had increased the agency's budget — but that engagement has lead some to say that FDA may soon no longer be seen as an independent entity. "In a globalizing world, where trust is a huge part of what American manufacturers have to sell, the politicization of the FDA could hurt not only consumer protection but industry profits as well," says Daniel Carpenter, a Harvard University historian who studies FDA.

The Scan

Missed Early Cases

A retrospective analysis of blood samples suggests early SARS-CoV-2 infections may have been missed in the US, the New York Times reports.

Limited Journal Editor Diversity

A survey finds low diversity among scientific and medical journal editors, according to The Scientist.

How Much of a Threat?

Science writes that need for a provision aimed at shoring up genomic data security within a new US bill is being questioned.

PNAS Papers on Historic Helicobacter Spread, Brain Development, C. difficile RNAs

In PNAS this week: Helicobacter genetic diversity gives insight into human migrations, gene expression patterns of brain development, and more.