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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

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.