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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

Tens of Millions Saved

The Associated Press writes that vaccines against COVID-19 saved an estimated 20 million lives in their first year.

Supersized Bacterium

NPR reports that researchers have found and characterized a bacterium that is visible to the naked eye.

Also Subvariants

Moderna says its bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccine leads to a strong immune response against Omicron subvariants, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Science Papers Present Gene-Edited Mouse Models of Liver Cancer, Hürthle Cell Carcinoma Analysis

In Science this week: a collection of mouse models of primary liver cancer, and more.