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The international body representing stem-cell scientists has torn up a decades-old limit on the length of time that scientists can grow human embryos in the laboratory. The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) is relaxing its ‘14-day rule’ and now suggests that studies be considered on a case-by-case basis. The move gives more leeway to researchers who are studying human development and disease. The ISSCR has also updated its ethics guide to address mitochondrial-replacement therapy — which can lead to ‘three-parent babies’ — and weighs in against heritable gene editing, for now.
Exotic-animal traders systematically review the scientific literature to target newly described and rediscovered reptile species. Researchers analysed the online reptile trade and found that some species are being sold within months of their first mention in a paper. The horror of seeing a gecko species he first described in 2013 quickly appear in online trade made taxonomist Yang Jianhuan decide to not publish the exact location of his latest find. “The colleagues of the older generation said I must publish. They say the tradition cannot be broken,” says Yang. “I really understand both sides, but some scientists just have not yet realized that this problem is now very big.”
Features & opinion
“The pandemic has revealed major gaps in our understanding of the human immune system,” argues immunologist Donna Farber. We must move beyond our focus on blood and ramp up methods to study immunity in the whole body, she says. “For SARS-CoV-2, examining blood has helped to track responses to infection and vaccines, and to find correlates of severe disease,” she writes. “But much of the story is still unknown, because the bulk of the immune action is in the tissues.”
Almost 2,000 people responded to a survey about academic bullying. Many shared stories of feeling powerless, with no one to turn to for fear of retaliation. Science shares a selection of responses from the survey that reveal the often bumpy — and sometimes blocked — road to justice.
Reference: SSRN preprint
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