Breaking News on "Climate-Gate," and H1N1 Vaccine for Sale

Here's a rundown of some of the stories we've been following on Science's policy blog, ScienceInsider:

Breaking news: The embattled head of the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit, the institution at the center of a data breach involving the release of more than 1000 e-mails among prominent climate scientists, has resigned pending the ongoing investigation.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has proposed a set of guidelines for how providers of custom-made DNA sequences should do business. The proposal is the first comprehensive guidance issued by the government to tackle bioterrorism concerns stemming from the rapidly developing synthetic genomics industry, which some security experts believe could allow terrorist groups or lone evildoers to develop bioweapons simply with materials purchased over the Internet.

An Irish politician with no experience in science is slated to become Europe's new research policy chief. European Commission President José Manuel Barroso announced yesterday that he will nominate Máire Geoghegan-Quinn as the European Union's new commissioner for research and innovation. Meanwhile, former Danish Climate and Energy Minister Connie Hedegaard will fill a newly created post as commissioner for climate action--a move indicating Europe's interest in playing a key role on the global warming issue. Read the full story here.

The Netherlands is selling the bulk of its H1N1 pandemic vaccine supply. Some 19 million doses of the 34 million doses that the government has ordered from manufacturers Novartis and GlaxoSmithKline are now for sale, Health Minister Ab Klink wrote in a letter to parliament. Some 2 million of them will be available this month, the remainder in the first months of 2010. Malta and Macedonia have been reported to be among the potential buyers.

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