The president of MIT has written an open letter describing what he calls a “toxic atmosphere” that has arisen since the increased tensions between the United States and China. Chinese academics (American-born included) have approached him regarding instances of increased scrutiny at the hands of government agencies, such as border control officers at airports. While the government denies singling out Chinese researchers, it does not deny increased surveillance. https://go.nature.com/2Xq8qal
A new multiple myeloma drug, called selinexor, has gained U.S. FDA approval despite concerns about its safety. An outside panel of experts recommended against Xpovio’s approval, warning that the drug’s benefits did not outweigh its safety risks. It will be marketed by Karyopharm Therapeutics under the brand name Xpovio.
Scientists in Hungary have taken to the streets to protest what they see as unnecessary government meddling. The parliament has taken control of how money is distributed for research. Previously, the government handed a lump some of money over to the Hungarian Academy of Science which then passed it on to its members. Although the scientific community saw the move coming, their outrage at its implementation is not surprising. http://bit.ly/2JsZirI
A new study sheds new light on the Biblical Philistines who were in constant conflict with the Israelites. Turns out, they might have come from Europe. By testing the DNA from skeletons from a known Philistine city names Ashkelon. Their findings suggest that their closest genetic kin came from Southern Europe. According to Science, “The DNA data suggest a kernel of truth to Greek and Middle Eastern legends that describe survivors who moved south after the catastrophic collapse of great Bronze Age civilizations of the Mediterranean in the late 13th and early 12th centuries B.C.E.” http://bit.ly/2XqGNhH
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