Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

UK Health Secretary Steps Down

The UK health secretary, Matt Hancock, has resigned after violating COVID-19 restrictions, the Associated Press reports.

The UK tabloid the Sun published pictures of Hancock kissing an aide that it said was taken in early May before COVID-19 restrictions preventing physical contact between individuals from different households were eased, the AP says, noting that both Hancock and the aide are married to others. This prompted calls for Hancock, who, as health minister, implemented the restrictions, to step down, it adds.

"People have made huge sacrifices to beat the pandemic," Andrew Bridgen, an MP, tells BBC News. "And what riles them is the whiff of hypocrisy that people make the rules and don't stick to them themselves."

Hancock resigned Saturday. He previously apologized for the breaching the restrictions, Reuters reports.

The AP notes that other officials in the UK have been caught in violation of social distancing rules including Dominic Cummings and Neil Ferguson, and that when Ferguson's violation came to light, Hancock said the restrictions "are there for everyone."

The Scan

Transcriptomic, Epigenetic Study Appears to Explain Anti-Viral Effects of TB Vaccine

Researchers report in Science Advances on an interferon signature and long-term shifts in monocyte cell DNA methylation in Bacille Calmette-Guérin-vaccinated infant samples.

DNA Storage Method Taps Into Gene Editing Technology

With a dual-plasmid system informed by gene editing, researchers re-wrote DNA sequences in E. coli to store Charles Dickens prose over hundreds of generations, as they recount in Science Advances.

Researchers Model Microbiome Dynamics in Effort to Understand Chronic Human Conditions

Investigators demonstrate in PLOS Computational Biology a computational method for following microbiome dynamics in the absence of longitudinally collected samples.

New Study Highlights Role of Genetics in ADHD

Researchers report in Nature Genetics on differences in genetic architecture between ADHD affecting children versus ADHD that persists into adulthood or is diagnosed in adults.