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Fetal Tissue Research Restrictions Reversed

Officials in the US are removing restrictions on fetal tissue research that were added during the Trump Administration, the Associated Press reports.

The Trump Administration in 2019 halted intramural fetal tissue research at the National Institutes of Health, ended a contract with the University of California, San Francisco, that used fetal tissue for HIV research, and added an extra layer of ethical review for extramural research grants submitted to NIH using fetal tissue. ScienceInsider reported in August 2020 that the ethics board rejected nearly all the applications it reviewed.

Last week, the Washington Post reported that the Biden Administration was set to make changes these restrictions, following comments Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra made to lawmakers Thursday, though it was unclear what the changes would entail.

The AP now reports that the 2019 policy has been reversed and government researchers will again be able to conduct fetal tissue research and that outside researchers seeking fetal tissue research grants won't have to seek approval from an ethics board.

The Scan

From a Pig

A genetically modified pig kidney was transplanted into a human without triggering an immune response, Reuters reports.

For Privacy's Sake

Wired reports that more US states are passing genetic privacy laws.

Science Paper on How Poaching Drove Evolution in African Elephants

In Science this week: poaching has led to the rapid evolution of tuskless African elephants.

Guidelines for Ancient DNA Work

More than two dozen researchers have developed new ethical guidelines for conducting ancient DNA research, which they present in Nature.