Critics pounce on scientist’s claim of using CRISPR on human embryos
A firestorm of criticism ensued after Chinese scientist He Jiankui’s claim that he used CRISPR to genetically alter the DNA of human embryos that were used to produce twin girls. Chinese authorities have suspended Jiankui’s research, while National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins called for a “binding international consensus” on regulating gene editing. Read more here.
Trump prioritizes border wall funding in latest budget negotiations
President Donald Trump once again said he is willing to partially shut down the government if he does not receive $5 billion in funding to construct a U.S.-Mexico border wall. Lawmakers have until Dec. 7 to agree on seven funding bills that fund a variety of federal programs and agencies, including the National Science Foundation. If unsuccessful, unfunded programs and agencies will be forced to shut down. Read more here.
White House underplays grim climate report published by its own agencies
After the release of the National Climate Assessment authored by 13 federal agencies, the White House has sought to question the report’s findings of worsening climate change and its impacts on the U.S economy. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders stated that the report was “not based on facts,” while Trump said he did not believe the findings. These comments underline the administration’s anti-science sentiments. Read more here.