Editorials

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  • Offering new consent options to study participants will accelerate the release of valuable and varied clinically annotated genomic data.

    Editorial
  • Amid heightened concerns about the Zika virus outbreak in parts of the Western Hemisphere, it is worth remembering that the most extreme countermeasures are not necessarily the only ones worth trying. We must engage in calculated and diverse responses that will ensure sustainable outcomes for this and other outbreaks.

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  • In December, the US government approved a $2 billion increase in the budget of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the 2016 fiscal year. With that increase comes relief, optimism and the pressure to spend wisely.

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  • Reproducibility projects yield headline-grabbing numbers, not practical steps for minimizing the investment in and publication of irreproducible research. If used inappropriately, these numbers may have unintended consequences.

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  • Aging is receiving more attention as a risk factor for human disease. With the correct modeling of human heterogeneity and consideration of the environmental factors involved in the aging process, we may be able to delay the onset of human disease.

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  • Journals can and should ensure that they erect no barriers to fast and wide sharing of critical data during major public health emergencies. But funders and scientists must also play a part.

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  • The proposed 21st Century Cures Act is a potential boon to the funding woes faced by the US National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration. But a careful look at the provisions within the bill is warranted to avoid enacting policies that could undermine the progressive translation of research into clinical products.

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  • As medical use of cannabis becomes more commonplace, scientists seek to conduct rigorous studies that can define its benefits and risks for various disease indications. But overly cumbersome government regulations continue to create logistical and funding burdens.

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  • Disease models inform our understanding of central nervous system disorder pathogenesis and enable testing of novel therapeutics. A frank discussion of the rationale for using particular disease models, as well as their limitations, may enable comparisons between studies and facilitate drug development.

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  • Inflammatory disease research is burgeoning. Large data sets are being generated to characterize the human immune response, while detailed mechanistic studies are defining the role of specific cell types and sensors in inflammatory disease. Future efforts are needed to integrate these approaches and guide precision medicine.

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  • Recent news of raids on research budgets illustrates how precarious government funding of scientific research has become. In an era of unprecedented momentum in the development of technologies and therapies for studying and treating disease, opportunities for new discoveries must not be lost due to shortsighted budgetary concerns.

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  • Recent clinical data suggest that combination immunotherapy may be the wave of the future. To capitalize on these exciting findings, the scientific, logistical, proprietary and financial hurdles to the clinical testing of combination therapy must be addressed.

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  • Together with Nature and the other Nature-branded monthly journals, Nature Medicine is offering authors the option to remain anonymous during the peer-review process.

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  • With the completion of The Cancer Genome Atlas, it is time to evaluate its impact and mine its data to gain a better understanding of cancer biology and therapy.

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  • A refocused scope will infuse new technology into the regular research section of Nature Medicine and strengthen the synergy between regular research articles and Technical Reports.

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  • Investigational drugs can save or extend lives, and seriously ill patients not able to take part in clinical trials should have access to such drugs whenever possible. In a climate of increased public pressure for this access—often termed compassionate use—five states in the US have passed so-called 'right to try' legislation. These laws are ill advised, as they are not likely to substantially increase access and have the potential to compromise the clinical trial system.

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  • The international response to the ongoing Ebola epidemic has in many respects been more reactive than proactive. But there are changes that, if made, may shift the balance toward future readiness.

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  • The size, speed and potential reach of the 2014 Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa presents a wake-up call to the research and pharmaceutical communities—and to federal governments—of the continuing need to invest resources in the study and cure of emerging infectious diseases.

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