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Return on Translational Research Investment

Derek Lowe at In the Pipeline is not so sure that academia is the place for translational research, as both "the process of turning an interesting idea into a real drug target" and that of "turning an interesting compound into a real drug … involve a lot of laborious detail work, of the kind that does not mint fresh PhDs nor energize the postdocs." However, because the National Institutes of Health has recently expressed increased interest in supporting translational research — most recently by funding Clinical and Translational Science Awards at new academic sites, as our sister publication GenomeWeb Daily News reports — Lowe is considering how that money might best be spent. "If we're breaking things down by therapeutic area, one of the most intractable and underserved is central nervous system disease," he says. "If we're looking at general translational platforms and ideas, then I would suggest trying to come up with solid small-organism models for phenotypic screening," Lowe adds. In a comment to this post, Johnnyboy says he'd like to see the NIH "gearing up to do all the assays necessary for drug candidate development," rather than funding projects involving specific drug targets or therapeutic areas. Lowe is soliciting additional suggestions at his blog. "It looks like this is going to happen, so perhaps we can at least seed this newly plowed field with something that we'd like to see when it sprouts," he says.

The Scan

US Booster Eligibility Decision

The US CDC director recommends that people at high risk of developing COVID-19 due to their jobs also be eligible for COVID-19 boosters, in addition to those 65 years old and older or with underlying medical conditions.

Arizona Bill Before Judge

The Arizona Daily Star reports that a judge is weighing whether a new Arizona law restricting abortion due to genetic conditions is a ban or a restriction.

Additional Genes

Wales is rolling out new genetic testing service for cancer patients, according to BBC News.

Science Papers Examine State of Human Genomic Research, Single-Cell Protein Quantification

In Science this week: a number of editorials and policy reports discuss advances in human genomic research, and more.