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A Stop on Cooperating

John Holdren, the US presidential science advisor, hosted a dinner and meetings between US and Chinese science officials, a move that the Government Accountability Office now says violated a ban on certain kinds of collaborative research between the two countries, reports Nature News' Eugenie Samuel Reich. Congressman Frank Wolf (R-Va.), who heads the subcommittee that funds science agencies like Holdren's White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, asked the Department of Justice to step in and curb Holdren's activities with China, Reich says. But Holdren says he has the right to conduct diplomacy on behalf of the president without prior approval from Congress. "Science-policy experts say that the dispute has the potential to cast a cloud over joint academic and commercial research efforts between the two economic superpowers," Reich says. "US agencies now have more than 30 agreements on scientific cooperation with their equivalents in the Chinese government. … Chinese researchers are now more likely to collaborate and co-author papers with scientists from the United States than with those from any other country." Wolf's spokesman says the congressman is concerned about China's spying and possibly stealing technology, particularly "advanced space technologies."

The Scan

Study Points to Tuberculosis Protection by Gaucher Disease Mutation

A mutation linked to Gaucher disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish population appears to boost Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistance in a zebrafish model of the lysosomal storage condition, a new PNAS study finds.

SpliceVault Portal Provides Look at RNA Splicing Changes Linked to Genetic Variants

The portal, described in Nature Genetics, houses variant-related messenger RNA splicing insights drawn from RNA sequencing data in nearly 335,700 samples — a set known as the 300K-RNA resource.

Automated Sequencing Pipeline Appears to Allow Rapid SARS-CoV-2 Lineage Detection in Nevada Study

Researchers in the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics describe and assess a Clear Labs Dx automated workflow, sequencing, and bioinformatic analysis method for quickly identifying SARS-CoV-2 lineages.

UK Team Presents Genetic, Epigenetic Sequencing Method

Using enzymatic DNA preparation steps, researchers in Nature Biotechnology develop a strategy for sequencing DNA, along with 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, on existing sequencers.