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Second Look

An $18 million incubator grant was awarded in March to researchers led by Lynda Chin at the Institute for Applied Cancer Sciences at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, and, at the beginning of May, Nobel laureate and CEO of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas Alfred Gilman resigned, referencing problems with the institute's peer-review system, reports the Nature News Blog. The incubator grant, the aim of which is to create infrastructure to help develop cancer drugs, was approved without scientific review. Nature notes that Chin is married to Ronald DePinho, the president of MD Anderson, though she does not report to him.

CPRIT is re-reviewing the grant, and DePinho and Chin tell the Nature News Blog that nothing untoward occurred. "But the reality is: we applied for an RFA, we worked with people who encouraged us to do this," DePinho says. "It was reviewed and it got funded. The process ... was done in a way that was totally consistent with CPRIT's guidelines."

Chin adds that "if there was controversy over how the incubator infrastructure grants should be approved, that should have been within CPRIT. Because the RFA specified how this business plan was going to be reviewed. We as a team could only go by what the RFA said."

The Scan

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.

Study Uncovers Genetic Mutation in Childhood Glaucoma

A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation ties a heterozygous missense variant in thrombospondin 1 to childhood glaucoma.

Gene Co-Expression Database for Humans, Model Organisms Gets Update

GeneFriends has been updated to include gene and transcript co-expression networks based on RNA-seq data from 46,475 human and 34,322 mouse samples, a new paper in Nucleic Acids Research says.

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.