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Slow Re-opening

The tuberculosis lab at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is set to re-open, the New York Times reports.

The lab, along with others at the agency, was closed earlier this month following the mishandling of the anthrax and H5N1 influenza viruses in incidents that exposed CDC personnel to the infectious agents.

The TB lab has passed safety checks and can re-open, the Times says. The agency also hopes to re-open other labs such as the ones that handle the Ebola and chikungunya viruses — an Ebola epidemic is raging in Africa and chikungunya is increasingly being diagnosed in the US.

CDC has also set up a panel of outside experts to advise its director, Thomas Frieden, on safety. Ten of the 11 appointees work at US medical schools or state laboratories; none have worked at CDC. The 11th appointee works at Britain's public health agency.

Critics say that the panel has a vague mandate and should include more foreign members as an accident involving a pathogen could have global consequences, the Times adds.

The Scan

Polygenic Risk Score to Predict Preeclampsia, Gestational Hypertension in Pregnant Women

Researchers in Nature Medicine provide new mechanistic insights into the development of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, which may help develop therapeutics.

New Oral Nanomedicine Strategy Targets Gut-Brain Axis to Treat IBD

A new paper in Science Advances describes a platform to design polyphenol-armored oral medicines that are effective at treating inflammatory bowel disease.

Phylogenetic Data Enables New Floristic Map

Researchers in Nature Communications use angiosperm phylogenetic data to refine the floristic regions of the world.

Machine Learning Helps ID Molecular Mechanisms of Pancreatic Islet Beta Cell Subtypes in Type 2 Diabetes

The approach helps overcome limitations of previous studies that had investigated the molecular mechanisms of pancreatic islet beta cells, the authors write in their Nature Genetics paper.