Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Areas of Concern

Francis Collins, the director of the US National Institutes of Health, says the agency has become concerned about threats to the "robustness" of the biomedical research enterprise.

According to a statement from Collins, there are three areas of particular worry: the failure by some researchers to disclose that they've received a large amount of money from other organizations, including foreign governments; the diversion of intellectual property, including to foreign countries; and the sharing of confidential information by peer reviewers.

Stat News further reports that NIH is investigating a number of institutions due to worries that agency-funded researchers didn't divulge foreign financial contributions. "We are concerned about circumstances where people have intentionally been deceptive about those connections, with an intention to divert intellectual property or perhaps use their access to peer-review materials to ship them overseas," Collins said after a Senate hearing, according to Stat News.

It adds that he has urged some 10,000 US institutions to discuss such IP matters and foreign interference with the FBI. NIH has also created a panel to review research security.

Stat News adds that during the hearing, committee chair Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) noted he hoped NIH would continue to support foreign researchers in the US.

The Scan

Panel Votes for COVID-19 Pill

A US Food and Drug Administration panel has voted to support the emergency use authorization of an antiviral pill for COVID-19 from Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, CNN says.

But Not Harm

New Scientist reports that UK bioethicists say that though gene editing may improve food production, it should not harm livestock welfare.

Effectiveness Drop Anticipated

Moderna's Stéphane Bancel predicts that that current SARS-CoV-2 vaccines may be less effective against the Omicron variant, the Financial Times reports.

Cell Studies of Human Chromatin Accessibility, SARS-CoV-2 Variants, Cell Signaling Networks

In Cell this week: chromatin accessibility maps of adult human tissues, modeling to track SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, and more.