Top stories: CRISPR babies fallout, research funders’ tax havens, and our ancient shrinking sun

Science | AAAS | 12/7/2018 | Staff
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In a statement condemning the work of Chinese scientist He Jiankui in using CRISPR to genetically modify human embryos, Francis Collins, head of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, says the only way forward in germline gene editing trials is “strict independent oversight.” Collins says NIH embraces the role it may need to play in overseeing controversial gene-editing projects going forward.

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An investigation of public records and documents known as the Paradise Papers has found that leading research philanthropies—including the Wellcome Trust and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation—have invested more than $5 billion in offshore tax and secrecy havens. Some investments, such as those in highly polluting fuels, undermine the groups’ charitable goals. Critics say that when foundations lend their sterling reputations to offshore strategies, they help legitimize lawful but extreme tax avoidance, and provide cover for money laundering.

Scientists - Something - Faint - Sun - Paradox

Scientists have long puzzled over something called the “faint young sun” paradox: Even though our sun used to put out far less energy—and heat—than it does today, there’s ample evidence of flowing water on early Earth and Mars. Now, a team of astronomers says...
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