TS Picks: September 25, 2014

Charting ZMapp’s development; CRISPR and antibiotic resistance; NIH funding “hangover”

Tracy Vence
Sep 25, 2014

CDC PUBLIC HEALTH IMAGE LIBRARY

Selected stories from The Scientist’s reading list:

  • Bloomberg Businessweek spoke with officials at the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), the primary funder of Mapp Biopharmaceutical, about its quest to develop and test ZMapp—an experimental Ebola therapy that was used on infected people despite not having been evaluated in clinical trials, and showed promise in an animal study, before supplies ran out. Bloomberg found evidence to suggest that ZMapp, which appears to be effective at fighting Ebola, was “stuck in the federal bureaucracy for four years.” Indeed, funding pledged by DTRA for ZMapp in 2011 was not distributed until two years later. According to Bloomberg, “the drug’s path through the research labs of the Washington-Baltimore corridor shows that the federal government still isn’t good at producing drugs.” (See: “Funds To Speed Ebola Drug Development.”)
     
  • “We designed CRISPR systems that...

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