Therapeutic translation in the wake of the genome by VOX

There has been criticism that the ‘genetic revolution’ heralded by the completion of the Human Genome Project has failed to meet the more optimistic expectations of 15 years ago and that patient outcomes have not materially improved. This column analyses the extent to which basic genetic science has fuelled early-stage drug innovation. The results suggest that alleged ‘slower-than-expected’ progress has been partly caused by the amount of complexity in human biology, which was unexpected prior to the Project’s completion but has been progressively revealed since then.

Manuel Hermosilla, Jorge Lemus

Saving souls, hurting bodies: Missions, health investments, and HIV prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa by VOX

HIV prevention in sub-Saharan Africa is often shaped by the influence of Christian churches, tending to focus on abstinence rather than safer sexual behaviour. This column investigates the relationship between historical Christian missionary activities and HIV prevalence today. Regions close to missions in general tend to exhibit higher HIV prevalence, an effect that is driven by Protestant missions. Regions close to missions that specifically invested in health, however, exhibit lower HIV prevalence today.

Julia Cagé, Valeria Rueda

Sovereign GDP-linked bonds: Rationale and design by VOX

While the idea of governments issuing debt instruments whose repayments are indexed to GDP is not new, the current global backdrop of high government debt suggests the case for doing so might be especially strong now. This column introduces a new eBook in which leading economists, lawyers, and investors examine the case for issuing GDP-linked bonds, the obstacles to market development, ways of overcoming them, and what such a security might look like in practice.

Robert Shiller, Jonathan D. Ostry, James Benford, Mark Joy

A new classification of monetary policy frameworks by VOX

Monetary policy characterisations across countries rely on the availability of data, but while exchange rate classifications are well developed, the same is not true for domestic targets. This column introduces a new classification of the monetary policy frameworks of different advanced and emerging countries, including domestic and external targets. One trend revealed by the classification is the movement over time away from exchange rate targets and loosely structured discretion towards inflation targeting.

David Cobham

Riyadh, Washington and the Iran confrontation by Al Arabiya

Things are speeding up in Europe, before Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince meets President Trump the day after tomorrow. Focus will be on arriving at a method that appears to restrain Iran, while in fact it aims to stop the US’s attempt to abort the nuclear agreement with Iran.

Abdulrahman al-Rashed

Is Turkey preparing to replace US military base in Qatar? by Al Arabiya

Few days ago, Qatar signed an agreement with Turkey to establish a naval base which will include a training center for maritime patrols and monitoring.

Shehab Al-Makahleh

Poisoning case explains why Putin is so brazen by Al Arabiya

Britain’s MI5 and MI6 have declared they are astonished by the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal, his daughter Yulia, as well as first responders in Salisbury last week.

Azeem Ibrahim