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Long Time to Recover

The Trump Administration has weakened the influence of science on governmental policy-making and various policies have led many government researchers to leave, the New York Times reports.

For instance, relocating the US Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to near Kansas City delayed the publication of research reports and research funding, as well as led many agency workers to leave. Additionally, the Times notes that a survey of federal scientists found that most respondents said hiring freezes and staff departures made it hard for them to do their work.

"Regulations come and go, but the thinning out of scientific capacity in the government will take a long time to get back," Joel Clement, a former top climate-policy expert at the Interior Department, tells the Times.

Robert Kavlock, a retired Environmental Protection Agency toxicologist, adds that the loss of experienced researchers will lead to the loss of years of "institutional memory." Sonny Ramaswamy, who directed the National Institute of Food and Agriculture until 2018 also says at the Times that it will take years to rebuild what was lost at that agency.

The Scan

Germline-Targeting HIV Vaccine Shows Promise in Phase I Trial

A National Institutes of Health-led team reports in Science that a broadly neutralizing antibody HIV vaccine induced bnAb precursors in 97 percent of those given the vaccine.

Study Uncovers Genetic Mutation in Childhood Glaucoma

A study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation ties a heterozygous missense variant in thrombospondin 1 to childhood glaucoma.

Gene Co-Expression Database for Humans, Model Organisms Gets Update

GeneFriends has been updated to include gene and transcript co-expression networks based on RNA-seq data from 46,475 human and 34,322 mouse samples, a new paper in Nucleic Acids Research says.

New Study Investigates Genomics of Fanconi Anemia Repair Pathway in Cancer

A Rockefeller University team reports in Nature that FA repair deficiency leads to structural variants that can contribute to genomic instability.