The Daily Dose: Scientists rally behind Green New Deal; The crisis and the paywall

Green is the new black: The group 500 Women Scientists has written a lengthy opinion piece published in Scientific American arguing that the scientific community should come together and rally around the Green New Deal. The proposal is based on science, the statement says. They make their case point by point and conclude, “… science is all about big bold ideas. The GND is the opportunity of our generation. The scientific community must rise to the occasion, we must think big, we must listen, and we must act.”

Desperately seeking enzymes: The journal Nature has provided an update on the race to develop an alternative to chemical synthesis of DNA in the laboratory. Numerous companies are reportedly close to achieving an enzymatic process. Key to enzymatic synthesis is terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT), a DNA polymerase that requires no template. Anya Technologies in California, DNA Script in Paris, Nuclera Nucleics, and Evonetix (both based in Cambridge, UK) are all working on the technology. Enzymatic synthesis promises to enable lengthier DNA production.

White House v. Climate Scientists: The climate change committee being assembled by the Trump Administration and headed by the prominent climate change skeptic William Happer, a physicist with no formal training in climate science, has shifted focus slightly. It will now consist of ad-hoc group that will review climate science out of the public eye. According to Scientific American, “The White House is recruiting researchers who reject the scientific consensus on climate change for its ‘adversarial’ review of the issue.” Time will tell.

Beijing takes on diabetes: China has launched an ambitious five-year medical research program on the blood pressure control target for adults with type 2 diabetes to reduce cardiovascular and death risks. Over 200 research centers across the country will participate in the program, launched in Chongqing in southwest China.

Against the Paywall: An editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine sounds the alarm the urgent need for the development of new antibiotics. According to the authors, “Clinicians are now encountering infections that are susceptible to few or even (although rarely) none of the available drugs.” We would tell you more but we ran into NEJM’s solid brick paywall. The antibiotic crisis must not be so urgent after all, otherwise they’d let the general public know about it. So it goes.

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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