Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Stop the NCATS Search

Representative Denny Rehberg (R-MT) says the National Institutes of Health should not yet be searching for a director for the proposed National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, reports ScienceInsider. Rehberg chairs the House appropriations subcommittee that oversees the Health and Human Services budget. In a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Rehberg writes that he is "very troubled" to hear that NIH has initiated a search for an NCATS director. "It seems premature to take these steps in advance of an official presidential request, let alone requited congressional action," Rehberg writes. "I suggest NIH cease all action related to establishing NCATS until the President submits a formal request and congressional action is completed." In addition Rehberg says he is worried about the effect NCATS will have on the Institutional Development Awards and the Clinical and Translational Science Awards. Other lawmakers have also previously expressed concerns about NCATS.

NIH tells ScienceInsider that the agency is drawing up its response to the letter. "While we need to start our search for outstanding leaders, we will not hire an NCATS director until NCATS has been formally established," says NIH spokesperson John Burklow.

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.