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Tinfoil Hats and the AEI

Government-performed comparative drug studies are bad because the results not only affect Medicare but the private market as well, writes American Enterprise Institute fellow Scott Gottlieb in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal. A provision for a new federal center to study the economics of drug choices (part of the State Children's Health Insurance Program) will give misleading results and the data will not be transparent, argues Gottlieb, drawing on past studies such as the Women's Health Initiative, Allhat, and Catie as proof.

Blogger Mark Hoofnagle responds that these studies were only federally funded -- as is much of US research -- and sometimes released initial results because of risks associated with the drugs, not to save the government money. "Does this guy even understand that the researchers that perform these studies don't sit around thinking, 'I work for the government … and the government is all about saving government money for the government,'" writes Hoofnagle.

The Scan

Transcriptomic, Epigenetic Study Appears to Explain Anti-Viral Effects of TB Vaccine

Researchers report in Science Advances on an interferon signature and long-term shifts in monocyte cell DNA methylation in Bacille Calmette-Guérin-vaccinated infant samples.

DNA Storage Method Taps Into Gene Editing Technology

With a dual-plasmid system informed by gene editing, researchers re-wrote DNA sequences in E. coli to store Charles Dickens prose over hundreds of generations, as they recount in Science Advances.

Researchers Model Microbiome Dynamics in Effort to Understand Chronic Human Conditions

Investigators demonstrate in PLOS Computational Biology a computational method for following microbiome dynamics in the absence of longitudinally collected samples.

New Study Highlights Role of Genetics in ADHD

Researchers report in Nature Genetics on differences in genetic architecture between ADHD affecting children versus ADHD that persists into adulthood or is diagnosed in adults.