Science Policy Around the Web November 17, 2020

On Monday, biotech firm Moderna announced preliminary findings of their COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial demonstrating 94.5% efficacy. Moderna reported that 90 people who had received placebo shots became ill with COVID-19, compared to only 5 in the vaccine group. Moreover, of the 90 positive patients in the placebo group 11 developed severe cases of COVID-19, compared to no severe cases in the treatment group. These findings come a week after Pfizer and Biontech announced that preliminary findings from their own vaccine clinical trial had demonstrated that the vaccine was more than 90% effective….

How Goliath ate David: the story of Instagram

Sarah Frier’s deft narrative nonfiction begins as a riveting tale of startup drama, with Instagram’s historic sale to Facebook for $1 billion and a guarantee of business independence. But what follows in No Filter is the story of culture clash and an ongoing debate between curation and automation, ending with (spoiler alert!) the exit of Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger…

Science Policy Around the Web June 16th, 2020

In the past two weeks, technology companies IBM and Microsoft have announced that they would no longer sell facial recognition technology, and Amazon implemented a one-year moratorium of their own facial recognition software. These policy changes come in the wake of widespread protests across America in response to police violence…

Science Policy Around the Web April 21st, 2020

Originally published at EPA can’t bar grantees from sitting on science advisory panels, judge rules In February of this year, Judge Denise Cote for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in a suit brought by the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) contesting […]

Science Policy Around the Web March 12th, 2020

Originally published Fired cancer scientist says ‘good people are being crushed’ by overzealous probes into possible Chinese ties Recent months have seen major developments in the FBI and NIH’s investigation into ties between U.S. research labs and China, with the highest profile case to date alleging that the head of the Harvard Chemistry Department […]

Science Policy Around the Web January 7th, 2020

Originally published at What CRISPR-Baby Prison Sentences Mean for Research Chinese scientist He Jiankui came to prominence last year after claiming he had used CRISPR/Cas9 to genetically edit human embryos to confer resistance to HIV-1. Twin girls with the mutation were born in October of 2018, and He’s work was confirmed by Chinese investigators […]

Science Policy Around the Web October 18th, 2019

Originally published at Scientific integrity bill advances in U.S. house with bipartisan support On Thursday the U.S. House of Representatives Science Committee voted to advance scientific integrity bill H.R. 1709 to the house floor by a vote of 25 to six. H.R. 1709 would require federal research agencies to develop their own clear principles […]

Science Policy Around the Web October 11th, 2019

Originally published at Massive California power outage triggers chaos in science labs On Wednesday and Thursday of this week, upwards of 600,000 California residents lost power when Pacific Gas & Electric, the state’s largest utility company, instituted rolling blackout. Due to high winds, PG&E worried that keeping power on could result in sparking and increased […]

Science Policy Around the Web September 9th, 2019

Originally published at India Is Trying To Make Contact With Its Vikram Lander After Finding It On The Moon During an attempt to become the fourth country to land on the moon (after the U.S., former Soviet Union and China), India lost communication with its lunar lander Vikram early last Friday. Contact was lost […]

Science Policy Around the Web September 3rd, 2019

Originally published at Biohackers are pirating a cheap version of a million-dollar gene therapy This past weekend, the 4th annual Biohack the Planet, a conference for community scientists and biohackers, was held in Las Vegas. In addition to discussions concerning the future and goals of biohacking, a group of biohackers announced their efforts to […]