Sara Reardon on Muck Rack

Sara Reardon Verified

Washington, DC
Biomedical and Science Policy Reporter, Nature Magazine
As seen in:  New Scientist, Slate

Biomedical research and policy reporter for @NatureNews, recovering molecular biologist, music snob. Opinions my own.

Viral research moratorium called overly broad — Alfred Pasieka/SPL US researchers are worried that a temporary government ban aimed at so-called 'gain-of-function' experiments that boost the infectious properties of dangerous viruses may also cover less-extreme forms of the work that are vital to protecting public health.

US suspends risky disease research — ChinaFotoPress/Getty The US government surprised many researchers on 17 October when it announced that it will temporarily stop funding new research that makes certain viruses more deadly or transmissible.

White House suspends enhanced pathogen research — As the US public frets about the recent transmission of Ebola to two Texas healthcare workers, the US government has turned an eye on dangerous viruses that could become far more widespread if they escaped from the lab.

Hopeful act: A rebel transplants organs from HIV-positive donors — Illustrations by Matt Hansen David thought he would spend the rest of his life in and out of hospitals. A 45-year-old auditor in South Africa, he had developed severe anemia seven years earlier due to kidney failure. His illness forced him to quit his job and travel to the hospital for dialysis three times per week.

Manure Fertilizer Increases Antibiotic Resistance — John Eveson/FLPA Treating dairy cows and other farm animals with antibiotics and then laying their manure in soil can cause the bacteria in the dirt to grow resistant to the drugs. But a study now suggests that the manure itself could be contributing to resistance, even when it comes from cows that are free of antibiotics.

Disclosing conflicts of interest has unintended effects — Over the course of just five months in 2013, US doctors received more than US$3.5 billion in consulting fees, travel reimbursements and gifts from pharmaceutical and medical-device companies. That revelation comes from Open Payments, a database launched on 30 September by the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Ethnography could help in Ebola crisis — Pascal Guyot/AFP/Getty The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has been fuelled in part by local reactions to the crisis. Sharon Abramowitz, a medical anthropologist at the University of Florida in Gainesville who is working in Liberia, suggests that global health organizations could do more to reduce the severity of the crisis by incorporating knowledge of local customs and institutions.

NIH awards $46 million for brain research tools — Just 18 months after the White House announced the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, the US National Institutes of Health has awarded its first US$46 million in grants for the programme. "We have referred to this as a moonshot," said NIH director Francis Collins at a 30 September press conference.

Fast genetic sequencing saves newborn lives — Conrad Bornman/Gallo Images/Getty By two months of age, the boy was near death. He had spent his entire short life in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Missouri, while physicians tried to work out the cause of his abnormalities.

US announces rules for potential bioterror agents — A long-awaited US government policy on biological research that could be used for terrorism or other nefarious purposes is little changed from a draft released 19 months ago, despite receiving 38 comments from institutions and researchers concerned that it goes either too far or not far enough.
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Oct 22, 2014

White House suspends research that makes viruses more dangerous; story @NatureNews. Advisory board mtg right now @NIH…

Oct 21, 2014

US midterm elections offer little hope for science -- whether GOP takes Senate or not. Great analysis by @lmorello_dc…

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