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A Spoonful of (Regulatory) Sugar Makes the Medicine Go Down

The UK's health secretary, Andrew Lansley, is accepting proposals for a new regulatory body that would speed up applications by scientists carrying out health research, and open up the UK — to a greater degree — to drug companies wanting to carry out clinical trials, reports The Guardian's Sarah Boseley. The body, dubbed the Health Research Agency, is a way of addressing researchers' complaints of bureaucracy in the current system — currently, researchers have to apply to different trusts in the UK's National Health Service for permission to recruit patients for studies, and they've complained that it creates long delays, Boseley says. Streamlining the process could help researchers, the British economy, and patients who might be missing out on trials of new drugs that could help them, she adds.

The Scan

Billions for Antivirals

The US is putting $3.2 billion toward a program to develop antivirals to treat COVID-19 in its early stages, the Wall Street Journal reports.

NFT of the Web

Tim Berners-Lee, who developed the World Wide Web, is auctioning its original source code as a non-fungible token, Reuters reports.

23andMe on the Nasdaq

23andMe's shares rose more than 20 percent following its merger with a special purpose acquisition company, as GenomeWeb has reported.

Science Papers Present GWAS of Brain Structure, System for Controlled Gene Transfer

In Science this week: genome-wide association study ties variants to white matter stricture in the brain, and more.