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The Sad State of Stem Cells

An article in the Guardian takes a look at how stem cell scientists in the US have been forced to juggle research priorities with federal red tape. Since President Bush's 2001 ban on mingling government money with new embryonic stem cell lines, the day-to-day reality of conducting early stem cell research has been fraught with difficulties. In the case of Kevin Eggan, an assistant professor at Harvard University whose work touches on stem cell epigenetics, the effects of the federal ban have been felt at the level of partitioning his lab's equipment.

In one room there are two cryostats, used to prepare tissue for the microscope, standing side by side. One has a green sticker, the other red. Someone has put a label above the red machine, showing Mr. Bush pointing straight out and saying: "You there! No human ES cell sectioning on this machine!" 
Eggan's lab may sport amusing signs, but he isn't laughing. "I've spent the last three years of my life trying to get this sorted," he says in the article. "At least a third of my time is still spent keeping the accounts and equipment separate."

The Scan

Gone, But Now Reconstructed SARS-CoV-2 Genomes

In a preprint, a researcher describes his recovery of viral sequences that had been removed from a common database.

Rare Heart Inflammation Warning

The Food and Drug Administration is adding a warning about links between a rare inflammatory heart condition and two SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, Reuters reports.

Sandwich Sampling

The New York Times sent tuna sandwiches for PCR analysis.

Nature Papers Describe Gut Viruses, New Format for Storing Quantitative Genomic Data, More

In Nature this week: catalog of DNA viruses of the human gut microbiome, new dense depth data dump format to store quantitative genomic data, and more.