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Trump team targets changes to key metric that calculates social cost of carbon


Last week a provocative leaked memo hinted at another likely element of the incoming administration’s plan for weakening climate regulations: tweaking an obscure but increasingly utilized economic measure that tallies the costs and benefits of controlling carbon pollution.


Update: Surprise! Innovation bill clears House, heads to president


“This bill maximizes the nation’s investment in basic research, and helps boost U.S. competitiveness, creates jobs and spurs new business and industries”


OxyContin goes global — “We’re only just getting started”

LA Times

Former U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner David A. Kessler has called the failure to recognize the dangers of painkillers one of the biggest mistakes in modern medicine.


2016 in pictures: The best science images of the year


In a year of political turmoil and shock, science, too, came up with surprises. To document some of these wonders, photographers roamed the world, revealing objects from the microscopic to the cosmic in scale.


We need to feed a growing planet. Vegetables aren’t the answer.

Washington Post

If we’re going to feed them and us, responsibly and healthfully, vegetables are not the answer.


First hard look at Zika pregnancies finds nearly half result in miscarriage or birth defects


The data are the first to quantify the risks to women infected at different times during pregnancy, and they seem to confirm that they are highest early in pregnancy.


Endgame in Aleppo, the most decisive battle yet in Syria’s war

Washington Post

Aleppo would go down in history as one of the great failures of the international community to halt human rights abuses.


Under 21st Century Cures legislation, stem cell advocates expect regulatory shortcuts


Many attendees of the annual World Stem Cell Summit (WSCS) here took a victory lap.


Ohio’s new abortion law is an assault on Roe. Here’s why it won’t work.

Washington Post

So have Ohio lawmakers made the right bet on what will happen once Trump is in the White House — namely, that a new Supreme Court lineup could overturn Roe?


Black-hole fireworks win big in multimillion-dollar science prizes

The discovery of the black-hole firewall paradox — one of the most confounding puzzles to emerge in physics in recent years — has bagged its co-founder a share of one of this year’s US$3-million Breakthrough Prizes.


Genetically Modified Pigs Could Ease Organ Shortage

The Wall Street Journal

The goal is to create pig islets that the human immune system won’t recognize as foreign, so they can be transplanted into people.


Newly discovered state of memory could help explain learning and brain disorders


This new memory state could have a range of practical implications, from helping college students learn more efficiently to assisting people with memory-related neurological conditions.


A new global research agenda for food


Poor diets are responsible for more of the global burden of ill health than sex, drugs, alcohol and tobacco combined.


UK moves closer to allowing ‘three-parent’ babies


United Kingdom may soon become the first country to explicitly permit the birth of children from embryos modified to contain three people’s DNA.


Bad hair day? ‘Uncombable hair syndrome’ traced to gene mutations


Scientists have now pinpointed the three genes that cause so-called “uncombable hair syndrome”


Congress poised to pass sweeping biomedical innovation bill


$4.8 billion over the next decade for a set of research initiatives, including brain and cancer research and efforts to develop so-called precision medicine treatments


Once underfed, Brazil’s poor have a new problem: obesity

Washington Post

Brazil has been bogged down in a recession for more than two years but one business is still growing. Fast food.


Malaria vaccine, peatland protection and a string of satellites


Vaccinations against malaria will begin in sub-Saharan Africa in 2018, the World Health Organization announced


Climbing the social ladder can strengthen your immune system, monkey study suggests


Immune cells from low-ranking monkeys were less effective at fighting the infection.


Carbon is not the enemy


A new language of carbon recognizes the material and quality of carbon so that we can imagine and implement new ways forward


Young African women are especially vulnerable to HIV/AIDS


91% of new infections in the 15- to 19-year-old group were in adolescent girls.


Missouri appeals court rules frozen pre-embryos are marital property


Any frozen pre-embryos, fertilized eggs that are not implanted in the uterus, are legally classified as marital property


With Trump, Gingrich and GOP calling the shots, NASA may go back to the moon

Washington Post

The new administration will insert a mission to the lunar surface, probably international in character, as a step on the way to Mars


In bold new step, Dutch science academy holds women-only elections


Sorry guys—this time it’s women only. In order to reduce its perpetual gender imbalance the academy seeks to recruit 10 new members, all with two X chromosomes.


CRISPR gene-editing tested in a person for the first time


A Chinese group has become the first to inject a person with cells that contain genes edited using the revolutionary CRISPR–Cas9 technique.


Too many people are being told they have a vitamin D deficiency

Washington Post

Doctors are warning about vitamin D again, and it’s not the “we need more” news you might expect.


West Nile virus may be Deadlier than Thought

Science Magazine

Since West Nile fever first appeared in the United States in 1999, more than 45,000 people have been infected. A new study shows that the fatality rate may be higher than researchers previously thought.


Trump win raises questions about UN climate deal

CBS News

The election of a U.S. president who has called global warming a “hoax” alarmed environmentalists and climate scientists Wednesday and raised questions about whether America, once again, would pull out of an international climate deal.


Colorado passes medical aid in dying, joining five other states

Denver Post

Colorado passed a medical aid in dying measure Tuesday that will allow adults suffering from terminal illness to take life-ending, doctor-prescribed sleeping medication.


U.S. watchdog told Medicare, Medicaid that EpiPen was misclassified in 2009: senator


The internal watchdog at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services warned the office tasked with administering federal health insurance programs that Mylan NV’s EpiPen was improperly classified as a generic drug in 2009, Senator Charles Grassley said on Tuesday.