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Department of Health and Human Services. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Department of Health and Human Services said Monday it cancelled a contract between Advanced Bioscience Resources and the Food and Drug Administration that supplied fetal tissue for research, due to uncertainty that the contract used appropriate protections and followed procurement policy.

The big picture: HHS also says that it’s reviewing "all research involving fetal tissue" and vowed to consider "the serious regulatory, moral, and ethical considerations involved."

Background: Fetal tissue is mostly collected from elective abortions and can be used for research into vaccines, Zika, and genetic diseases. 

Why now? CNN reports that the FDA said in June it plans to purchase about $16,000 of "human fetal tissue" for tests to understand how humans may respond to medications.

  • This prompted backlash from Republicans, who urged the FDA earlier this month in a letter to cancel the contract.

Meanwhile, some scientists have expressed concern over interrupted research. Per STAT, Alta Charo, a University of Wisconsin bioethics professor who has testified before Congress on this topic before, says:

“The use of fetal tissue is important or even necessary for some kinds of work.”

Go deeper

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
38 mins ago - World

Remote work shakes up geopolitics

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The global adoption of remote work may leave the rising powers in the East behind.

The big picture: Despite India's and China's economic might, these countries have far fewer remote jobs than the U.S. or Europe. That's affecting the emerging economies' resilience amid the pandemic.

Trump gives Biden access to presidential intelligence briefings

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The Trump White House on Tuesday gave President-elect Biden access to daily presidential intelligence briefings, a source familiar with the matter tells Axios.

Why it matters: Trump has refused to share the briefs until now, as he continues to challenge the result of the election and declines to concede. The president's acquiescence comes as another sign that the transition to a Biden administration is taking place.

AOC and Ilhan Omar want to block Biden’s former chief of staff

Reps. Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar are boosting a petition against Joe Biden nominating his former chief of staff to a new role in his administration, calling Bruce Reed a "deficit hawk” and criticizing his past support for Social Security and Medicare cuts.

Why it matters: Progressives are mounting their pressure campaign after the president-elect did not include any of their favored candidates in his first slate of Cabinet nominees, and they are serious about installing some of their allies, blocking anyone who doesn't pass their smell test — and making noise if they are not heard.