Biden wants NIH to have ‘march-in’ power to override patent rights for high-priced drugs
20,769 articles from ScienceNOW
Birds that lead people to honey recognize local calls from their human helpers
President Joe Biden today stepped into a long-running debate about whether the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has legal authority to override an exclusive patent license granted to drug developers if they charge too much for treatments that relied on agency-funded research. In draft policy guidance, the Biden administration says federal agencies would be able to use so-called...
NASA opens door to cooperation with China on Moon rock research
When people in the Niassa Special Reserve of northern Mozambique hanker for something sweet, they don’t call DoorDash or Uber Eats. They call a bird. The aptly named honeyguide will lead them to a bee nest so they can harvest the honey. The bird obtains a treat, too—scrumptious wax and bee larvae. A new study suggests this partnership, which occurs in several places in Africa, is even...
‘Not dumb creatures.’ Livestock surprise scientists with their complex, emotional minds
In what could become a rare case of U.S.-Chinese cooperation on space research, NASA is urging scientists it funds to apply to China’s space agency for access to the 1.7 kilograms of lunar soil and rock returned to Earth in 2020 by the Chang’e 5 mission.
Such research collaborations are barred by a long-standing U.S. law that forbids the use of NASA funds for projects with...
Bacteria are evenly matched in swimming contests, no matter their size
A growing field of research is challenging long-held assumptions about goats, pigs, and other farm animals
News at a glance: Climate damage fund, a Palestinian physicist killed, and a dismissal following a Harvard gift
Dedicated fans of the Olympics know many tall athletes swim faster because their long limbs churn more water with each stroke. But a new study published in the
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
shows that for bacteria,
body sizes don’t affect their swimming speeds
, settling a long debate in the field.
Bacteria, big and small,...
Climate damage fund launched
At the U.N. climate conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, last week, nations agreed to a draft resolution for a “loss and damage” fund to compensate developing countries for harms caused by climate change when adapting to them is not possible. Many of those countries face risks from increased...
WEDNESDAY 6. DECEMBER 2023
NIH’s new chief, Monica Bertagnolli, wants greater ‘equity’ in biomedical research
The New England Journal of Medicine kicks off a historical series looking at its troubled past
The new director of the National Institutes of Health said today her highest priority is making NIH-funded clinical research more inclusive and more accessible to the public.
“Equity will guide my approach to leading NIH,” Monica Bertagnolli told reporters in her first news conference, a 40-minute Zoom call. But Bertagnolli, a cancer surgeon who became head of NIH last month,...
Archaeology society votes to ban photos of Indigenous burial offerings
The New England Journal of Medicine
) is launching a new series today examining its own complicity in perpetuating slavery and its legacy in the United States. In doing so, the 211-year-old journal joins several other publications and medical organizations that have, in recent years, interrogated harmful aspects of their own histories.
Not all organs age the same. ‘Older’ ones may predict your risk of disease
The Southeastern Archaeological Conference (SEAC) announced yesterday it will
maintain a new image policy
that prohibits its flagship journal from publishing photographs of objects buried with Indigenous ancestors. The decision reflects a vote held on the issue that concluded on 4 December.
Many tribes with ties to the U.S. Southeast say seeing such images is a...
mRNA vaccines may make unintended proteins, but there’s no evidence of harm
You’re only as old as you feel, so the adage goes. But new research suggests you may really be as old as your oldest organ. Scientists say they have developed a simple, blood test–based method to measure the speed of aging in individual organs such as the heart and brain. When an organ is substantially “older” than a person’s actual age, the risk of death and diseases related to...
Locusts raised in spinning centrifuge have stronger skeletons
Even after the billions of doses given during the pandemic, messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines still hold surprises. A study out today reveals they may unexpectedly prompt cells to produce small amounts of unintended proteins. There is no evidence that these mistakes compromise the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines, which saved millions of lives, and the researchers have already proposed a fix...
Centrifuges: They’re not just for
James Bond villains
. Scientists in Germany have raised locusts in the spinning devices to see how the enhanced gravity affects their skeletons. It turns out that, just like in people, the mechanical stresses make their “bones” stronger.
The findings, published today in
Proceedings of the...
TUESDAY 5. DECEMBER 2023
DNA recovered from polar bear snowprints could shed light on elusive species
Leading scholarly database listed hundreds of papers from ‘hijacked’ journals
Polar bears are tough animals to track. Scientists must brave frigid Arctic landscapes to observe them, if they can spot them at all. And if they want to collect genetic information, they often have to dart and capture the animals—a risky proposition for both researcher and bear. A new approach may lend a paw to such efforts.
In two new studies, scientists report that they can...
Tumor-killing viruses score rare success in late-stage trial
Scopus, a widely used database of scientific papers operated by publishing giant Elsevier, plays an important role as an arbiter of scholarly legitimacy, with many institutions around the world expecting their researchers to publish in journals indexed on the platform. But users beware, a new study warns. As of September, the database listed 67 “hijacked” journals—legitimate...
Once touted as the next big thing in cancer therapy, tumor-attacking viruses have been a letdown, failing in multiple clinical trials as far back as 1949. But preliminary results from a small phase 3 study presented at a conference last week suggest these unconventional cancer treatments, known as oncolytic viruses, might work after all. The data showed that an oncolytic virus developed...
MONDAY 4. DECEMBER 2023
Studies that expose bats to SARS-CoV-2 could help gauge future pandemic risks
Trial puts Howard Hughes Medical Institute—and disabled scientists—in the spotlight
It’s not easy to work with captive horseshoe bats, as Linfa Wang discovered. In 2005, the molecular virologist wanted to infect the animals with the virus that had caused the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) a few years earlier to find out whether it would evolve to grow well in the bats. Working in a maximum-biosecurity lab, he and his team at the Australian Animal...
In a trial beginning today in Maryland, a jury will consider whether the powerful Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) discriminated against a scientist by terminating her plum investigator award after she became disabled and asked for accommodations. Experts on disability rights say the trial will bring attention to an overlooked and pervasive form of discrimination in science. HHMI...
SUNDAY 3. DECEMBER 2023
Al Gore’s climate watchdog spots rogue emissions
The carbon dioxide (CO
) and methane (CH
) that have such palpable effects on climate are frustratingly elusive. Even advanced satellites struggle to pinpoint plumes of the gases, which are the dominant drivers of global warming. Instead, countries assess their emissions by piecing together direct measurements, statistics on agriculture and fossil fuel...
FRIDAY 1. DECEMBER 2023
Ancient redwoods recover from fire by sprouting 1000-year-old buds
Shock election win by the far right worries academics in the Netherlands
When lightning ignited fires around California’s Big Basin Redwoods State Park north of Santa Cruz in August 2020, the blaze spread quickly. Redwoods naturally resist burning, but this time flames shot through the canopies of 100-meter-tall trees, incinerating the needles. “It was shocking,” says Drew Peltier, a tree ecophysiologist at Northern Arizona University. “It really...
NIH puts hold on $30 million trial of potential stroke drug
Last week, a day after voters in the Netherlands delivered a surprise victory to far-right parties that have vowed to restrict immigration, Vinod Subramaniam, a nanoscientist and president of the board at the University of Twente,
sent a letter
to students and employees. “We are concerned about the effects of these results on higher education in general, and...
‘Wherever we’ve looked, we see destruction.’ The Ukraine war’s impact on buried archaeological sites
Misconduct concerns, possible drug risks should stop major stroke trial, whistleblowers say
The National Institutes of...
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began nearly 2 years ago, international observers have
verified damage to hundreds of buildings
, including museums and more than 150 churches. Now, a team of Ukrainian and U.S. archaeologists is surveying another category of destruction: damage to Ukraine’s archaeological heritage, much of which remains underground, often unexcavated...
THURSDAY 30. NOVEMBER 2023
‘Toxic bait’ from Indian pitcher plants lures hungry insects to their doom
- 23/11/30 22:45
This Antarctic penguin sleeps 11 hours a day—a few seconds at a time
Pitcher plants in the genus
thrive in places where they shouldn’t. There’s very little nitrogen in the Southeast Asian and Australian soils where they grow—but they do just fine, thanks to a macabre source for this essential nutrient: the dissolved flesh of small animals, mostly insects, that slip into their bulbous traps.
A new study suggests...
- 23/11/30 21:20
Tiny ‘anthrobots’ built from human cells could help heal the body
For sleepy humans, nodding off can be inconvenient—say, during a boring lecture—or even downright dangerous, such as while driving a car. But for Antarctica’s nesting chinstrap penguins (
), these secondslong bits of shuteye known as “microsleeps” may help them survive. These mininaps net the birds
about 11 hours of sleep per...
- 23/11/30 21:00
In the medicine of the future, molecular physicians built from a patient’s own cells might ferret out cancer, repair injured tissue, and even remove plaque from blood vessels. Researchers have now taken a step toward that vision: They’ve coaxed tracheal cells to form coordinated groups called organoids that can propel themselves with tiny appendages. When added to wounded neurons...