No recent biomedical experiment has caused more consternation than He Jiankui’s creation of the first gene-edited babies, in 2018, which was widely seen as dangerous, unethical, and premature—and which led to his incarceration by China. Now, an international committee has concluded that gene-editing methods, despite substantial improvements, are still far from mature enough to safely introduce heritable DNA modifications into…
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Early data on the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on scientific-publishing output suggest that female researchers, particularly those at early-career stages, are the hardest hit. Submissions to preprint servers, such as arXiv, rose more quickly for male authors than for female authors as nations adopted social-isolation measures. And female authors have accounted for only one-third of all authors on published COVID-19 papers since…
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Black academics are calling out racism in science, recounting behaviours ranging from overt acts to micro-aggressions, using social-media hashtags such as #BlackInTheIvory. A study in April highlighted how students from under-represented groups innovate more than their white male counterparts do — but receive few to no career benefits from their discoveries because their contributions are often overlooked. Nature spoke to six Black academic…
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President Donald Trump has officially withdrawn the United States from the World Health Organization. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., tweeted Congress had received the notification Tuesday afternoon. “To call Trump’s response to COVID chaotic & incoherent doesn’t do it justice,” Menendez tweeted. “This won’t protect American lives or interests—it leaves Americans sick & America alone.” The president has frequently criticized the…
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The COVID-19 crisis has underlined just how fast and open science publishing can be — when scientists want it that way. Researchers working on the pandemic are sharing preliminary results on preprint servers and institutional websites at unprecedented rates, embracing the kind of early, public sharing that physicists and mathematicians have practised for decades. Journals have whisked manuscripts through to…
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Scientific publishers, universities, librarians, and open-access (OA) advocates are waiting anxiously to see whether the Trump administration will end a long-standing policy and require that every scholarly article produced with US funding be made immediately free to all. Such a mandate has long been fiercely opposed by some publishers and scientific societies that depend on subscription revenues from journals. But…
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Each year, a particular kind of infection kills more than 35,000 people in the United States. Those deaths are caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. And some scientists are concerned about how the current pandemic might affect such bacteria. That’s because hospitalized patients with coronavirus will often be given antibiotics to fight any secondary bacterial infection, not to fight the virus itself.…
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A survey of more than 4,000 researchers in the United States suggests that better coordination at an institutional and national level could make hundreds of thousands more tests for coronavirus available. The survey was prompted by a Nature investigation published on 9 April, revealing that several top university laboratories that have received regulatory approval to process tests for SARS-CoV-2 are operating at half their potential capacity.…
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The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is playing a leading role in focusing the power of artificial intelligence, high-performance computing and other high-tech tools on the fight against coronavirus. Now it’s laying out an array of funding opportunities worth billions of dollars to researchers and innovators. “America’s vibrant innovation ecosystem has always brought outside-the-box ideas and technologies to the forefront to address great challenges.…
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President Donald Trump on Friday signed a sweeping spending bill to combat the spread of the new coronavirus, pumping billions of dollars into prevention efforts and research in hopes of quickly producing a vaccine for the deadly disease. Trump signed the bill on the same day worldwide cases surpassed 100,000 Lawmakers had worked through the weekend before resolving a dispute over vaccine pricing…
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