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Possible Closure May Be 'a Sign of the Times'

The Boston Biomedical Research Institute may be facing closure, the Nature News Blog reports. The nonprofit research institute, founded in 1968, is home to a range of biomedical research projects that are funded through federal and private grants.

The Boston Globe adds that the vote on Thursday by BBRI's corporation on whether or not to close is "a sign of the times, as competition for federal funding has intensified and more budget cuts loom in January, threatening scientific research programs at many institutions."

Harvard Medical School's Louis Kunkel, who co-directs a center with BBRI's director, tells the Globe that "In today's age, you need to have some size; you also need financial backing. You can't just rely on the NIH and private foundations for your support. … You need an endowment that's large enough to tide you through hard times."

The Scan

Booster Push

New data shows a decline in SARS-CoV-2 vaccine efficacy over time, which the New York Times says Pfizer is using to argue its case for a booster, even as the lower efficacy remains high.

With Help from Mr. Fluffington, PurrhD

Cats could make good study animals for genetic research, the University of Missouri's Leslie Lyons tells the Atlantic.

Man Charged With Threatening to Harm Fauci, Collins

The Hill reports that Thomas Patrick Connally, Jr., was charged with making threats against federal officials.

Nature Papers Present Approach to Find Natural Products, Method to ID Cancer Driver Mutations, More

In Nature this week: combination of cryogenic electron microscopy with genome mining helps uncover natural products, driver mutations in cancer, and more.