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An advertisement posted this week in Nature seeks candidates for the position who "must be internationally renowned biomedical scientists capable of leading a complex research organisation."

Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo), who chairs the state Assembly's Select Committee on Biotechnology, said the bill is an attempt to address increased competition by states, cities, and regions for California's life-sciences employers. A bill analysis projects the cost of the position "in the range of $300,000."

According to unofficial results, the Third Frontier extension passed by a 62-38 percent margin, benefiting from a consensus of support among life sciences leaders, business leaders, and government officials from both political parties.

While the drug was well tolerated and showed some signs of clinical activity, Tekmira said that it has put the phase I program on hold in order to select a new siRNA and drug-delivery formulation for development. The new agent is expected to be "several-fold more potent than the current formulation," the company said.

Under its new program, C-TASC will accept gene data from investigators in either raw or processed format and upload it to an online, searchable database, called StudyCTMS, which will be accessible to all researchers.

The disclosure comes about a month after the company announced that it had received clearance from Spanish regulators to begin the trial, in line with its previously disclosed guidance.

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In a cartoon, Vox explores the lack of women among this year's winners of the Nobel Prize.

Science reports a new US defense bill would establish two groups aimed at combating foreign influence on research. 

Nature Biotechnology discusses promising early results from two clinical trials of CRISPR-based therapy for β-thalassemia and sickle cell disease.

In Cell this week: analysis of tissue clones, metagenomic studies of ocean water samples, and more.