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Funding Pinch

The COVID-19 pandemic has hampered the ability of medical charities in the UK to raise funds to support research, the Guardian reports.

It adds that with pandemic-related restrictions affecting charity shops and fundraising events, charities have had to cut their research spending by about 40 percent, which has in turn led to budget drops at research institutions. For instance, the Guardian reports that the Institute of Cancer Research has seen its budget decline by 20 percent and that it expects more cuts. Medical charities, it notes, pay for about half of publicly funded medical research in the UK

"Overall, our cancer research, including drug discovery work, has probably been set back 12 to 18 months and there is another round of cuts coming through," Paul Workman, ICR's chief executive, tells the Guardian. "This will have a real impact."

According to the Guardian, the charities are seeking additional funding from the government. "The charities are asking for a bridge until their funding comes back up again and I'm astonished the government doesn't see that as something to support," Paul Nurse, the lead of the Francis Crick Institute, which he says has lost £20 million in medical research charity grants, tells the Guardian. "They are ignoring the problems the charities have."

The Scan

Harvard Team Report One-Time Base Editing Treatment for Motor Neuron Disease in Mice

A base-editing approach restored SMN levels and improved motor function in a mouse model of spinal muscular atrophy, a new Science paper reports.

International Team Examines History of North American Horses

Genetic and other analyses presented in Science find that horses spread to the northern Rockies and Great Plains by the first half of the 17th century.

New Study Examines Genetic Dominance Within UK Biobank

Researchers analyze instances of genetic dominance within UK Biobank data, as they report in Science.

Cell Signaling Pathway Identified as Metastasis Suppressor

A new study in Nature homes in on the STING pathway as a suppressor of metastasis in a mouse model of lung cancer.