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Politics and Science at FDA

Politics influenced FDA's approval of a device that assists in knee-replacement surgeries, reports the New York Times. Scientific reviewers at FDA concluded that the Menafelx device, made by ReGen Biologic, was unsafe and often failed. Managers overruled that decision after pressure from New Jersey (where the device is manufactured) politicians, Senators Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg and Representatives Frank Pallone Jr. and Steven Rothman, all Democrats, the Times says. "The message here is that there were problems with the integrity of F.D.A.'s decision-making process that have solutions," says Joshua Sharfstein, the deputy commissioner.

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.