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Now the Terms

Britain's departure from the European Union Friday night will set off months of negotiating what that exit means for their relationship, including what it means for researchers, Nature News reports.

Ever since the UK voted to leave the EU, scientists have worried how it might affect scientific research in the country. A number of Nobel laureates said they were particularly wary of a hard Brexit. Martin Smith, a policy manager at Wellcome, tells Nature News that a no-deal Brexit scenario appears to have been avoided but that "now is the time when big decisions will be made."

According to Nature News, some of those decisions that remain to be made include whether the UK will join the Horizon Europe research program and, if it does, under what terms. One particular area that will need to be worked out is the free movement of people, it notes, as Norway and Switzerland have had to allow the free movement of people across their borders in order to participate. Beth Thompson, head of UK and EU Policy at Wellcome, tells Nature News that the fast-track visa program for scientists the UK has announced could be enough. 

Other areas that may be sticking points include chemical safety, environmental safety, and data-use regulations, it adds.

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.