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A group of some 20 senior Chinese scientists worldwide has appealed to China's Prime Minister, Wen Jiabao, to implement a biomedical research agency modelled on the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).

In a letter sent this month the scientists criticise China's underinvestment in biomedical research compared with other countries. It also cites the need for an organisation that can carry out "a fair and transparent peer-review system".

The group proposes that the new body would initially distribute extramural grants, although in the future it could also support its own laboratories, as the NIH does.

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Link to correction in Nature

Reference: Nature 425, 333 (2003)

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