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'Stick' With What You Know

Former Merck CEO Roy Vagelos says NIH shouldn't be playing the drug development game, reports Katherine Hobson on the Wall Street Journal's Health blog. In December, NIH proposed the creation of the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, and has been fending off criticism from the research community ever since. NIH says that it hopes the new center will drive promising drug discovery and could eventually license promising compounds to pharma and biotech companies, Hobson says. But at a panel at the annual meeting of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, Vagelos told the audience that translational research isn't the proper function of NIH and its money, calling it "the pathway to destruction," Hobson says. Instead, Vagelos said, the agency should stick to funding basic research.

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.