Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

A High-Reaching ARIA

The UK is to launch its new "high-risk" science agency in the mold of the US Advanced Research Projects Agency, BBC News reports.

The UK proposed the new agency last March as part of its 2020 budget package, and has authorized £800 million (US$1 billion) in funding over four years for it. The new Advanced Research and Invention Agency, or ARIA, is to fund "ground-breaking" projects and have a higher tolerance for failure, according to the BBC. It notes, though, that the amount of funding being allocated to ARIA is much less than that provided to other government research programs.

"Led independently by our most exceptional scientists, this new agency will focus on identifying and funding the most cutting-edge research and technology at speed," Kwasi Kwarteng, the UK business secretary says, according to the BBC.

The BBC adds that the Labour Party has called for a better explanation of what the agency will pursue. "Labour has long called for investment in high-ambition, high-risk science," Ed Miliband, Labour shadow business secretary says, according to the BBC. "But government must urgently clarify the mission and mandate of this new organisation, following strong engagement with the UK's science base — those closest to the work."

The Scan

Renewed Gain-of-Function Worries

The New York Times writes that the pandemic is renewing concerns about gain-of-function research.

Who's Getting the Patents?

A trio of researchers has analyzed gender trends in biomedical patents issued between 1976 and 2010 in the US, New Scientist reports.

Other Uses

CBS Sunday Morning looks at how mRNA vaccine technology could be applied beyond SARS-CoV-2.

PLOS Papers Present Analysis of Cervicovaginal Microbiome, Glycosylation in Model Archaea, More

In PLOS this week: functional potential of the cervicovaginal microbiome, glycosylation patterns in model archaea, and more.