Trump signs bipartisan budget deal into law
The two-year budget deal, signed into law by President Donald Trump on Aug. 2, provides lawmakers with top-line budget numbers for fiscal years 2020 and 2021. It also removes federal budget caps put in place by the 2011 Budget Control Act and allows the government to borrow more money to pay its debts. The U.S. Congress must still pass the 12 appropriations bills needed to fund the federal government. The U.S. House has already passed 10 of the 12 bills. The U.S. Senate will begin its appropriations process when senators come back from the August recess, racing to pass the bills before the Sept. 30 fiscal year deadline. Read more here.
China ethics advisory group approved after CRISPR scandal
After scientists denounced Chinese biophysicist He Jiankui’s announcement that he created the first genome-edited babies, the Chinese government approved a plan to form an ethics advisory committee to prevent future controversies. The committee will coordinate and strengthen the various ethics regulations across China’s research enterprise, but details of the plan have yet to be released. Read more here.
China emerges as world leader in gene editing
For the past few years, the Chinese government has poured resources to fund gene editing projects mainly focused on agriculture. Although American-based research groups still hold the most CRISPR-related papers, patent applications and citations, China is quickly catching up. Read more here.