“This bill maximizes the nation’s investment in basic research, and helps boost U.S. competitiveness, creates jobs and spurs new business and industries”
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today removed public access to tens of thousands of reports that document the numbers of animals kept by research labs, companies, zoos, circuses, and animal transporters—and whether those animals are being treated humanely under the Animal Welfare Act. Henceforth, those wanting access to the information will need to file a Freedom of Information Act request.
Los Angeles Times
Donald Trump will be coming into office waving the banner of deregulation. While most of the speculation about his plans has focused on the financial industry and the possibility of eviscerating Dodd-Frank reforms, keep your eyes on the Food and Drug Administration. In a Trump administration the agency, figuratively speaking, will have a big bull’s-eye on its back.
Some fear a demonstration led by researchers might only serve to paint scientists as an interest group, further politicizing scientific issues. And at least one veteran science lobbyist has urged organizers to make sure it’s a march for science, not scientists.
By studying the insects under more-natural conditions, scientists hope to better understand how to eradicate them — and malaria — using an emerging genetic-engineering technology called gene drives. The technique can quickly disseminate genetic modifications in wild populations through an organism’s offspring, prompting some activists to call for it to be shelved. Yet gene drives might not be as effective as activists think. Recent research has identified a major hurdle to using them to eliminate diseases and vanquish invasive pests: evolution.
Kaveh Daneshvar was thrilled when he was invited to speak at a molecular biology meeting next month in Banff, Canada. Daneshvar, a molecular geneticist, is finishing a postdoc at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and preparing to go on the job market. He hoped that the conference talk would give him much-needed exposure to leaders in his field.
Clearly, private companies cannot be expected to invest on their own. But it is incumbent on governments to invest, and thus address this market failure, in partnership with pharma. It is therefore encouraging that there is now a solid plan to do just that: the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), launched on 18 January at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, aims to develop and take through early clinical trials vaccines against potential threats. It already has enough cash to work on three — MERS, Nipah-virus infection and Lassa fever.
In 1950, Japan’s scientific community, chastened by the complicity of researchers in their nation’s disastrous military adventurism, took an extraordinary vow. “To preserve our integrity as scientists, we express our firm commitment both domestically and abroad that we will never pursue scientific research for the purpose of war,” declared the Science Council of Japan (SCJ), now the nation’s equivalent to the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
Growing functional human tissues and organs would provide much needed material for regeneration and repair. New technologies are taking us in that direction. In addition to their use in regenerative medicine, stem cells that grow and morph into organ-like structures known as organoids can be used in drug development and toxicology testing. The potential developments and possibilities are numerous and affect not only biomedicine but also areas of ongoing ethical debate.
The WHO lost a lot of trust in the aftermath of the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Nabarro said his hope is to make sure that doesn’t happen again.
The practical implications of Trump’s action on Friday are harder to decipher. Its language instructs all federal agencies to “waive, defer, grant exemptions from or delay” any part of the law that imposes a financial or regulatory burden on those affected by it. That would cover consumers, doctors, hospitals and other providers, as well as insurers and drug companies.
Ending weeks of speculation, President-elect Donald Trump has asked National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins to remain in his position. It is not clear for how long.
Stem cells: The key to boosting bone healing in diabetes
The New Yorker
Until crispr came along, biologists lacked the tools to force specific genetic changes across an entire population. But the system, which is essentially a molecular scalpel, makes it possible to alter or delete any sequence in a genome of billions of nucleotides. By placing it in an organism’s DNA, scientists can insure that the new gene will copy itself in every successive generation.
The New York Times
Since the days when my mother wouldn’t let my older brother go out to play stickball if I wasn’t with him, there’s been a lot of progress in attitudes toward those we now call developmentally or intellectually challenged.
CRISPR may be used to repair a gene that has a deficient product, such as an enzyme or receptor, or alter code that merely suggests of risk. Ideas on how to use it change hourly. The method is here to last. The ethics will only get more fraught.
Trials conducted in Guinea, one of the West African countries most affected by an outbreak of Ebola that ended this year, show it offers 100% protection. The vaccine is now being fast-tracked for regulatory approval.
Face2Gene takes advantage of the fact that so many genetic conditions have a tell-tale “face”—a unique constellation of features that can provide clues to a potential diagnosis. It is just one of several new technologies taking advantage of how quickly modern computers can analyze, sort, and find patterns across huge reams of data.
Every single state and every single city in the Lower 48 states was warmer than normal in 2016.
Adjustments to correct for inhomogeneities in sea surface temperatures in recent years have a large impact on the resulting decadal-scale global temperature trends. Assessing the effectiveness of these adjustments is critical to improving our understanding of the structure of modern climate changes and the extent to which trends in recent periods may have been anomalous with respect to longer-term warming.
They interviewed senior physicians from Planned Parenthood, who spoke bluntly about their provision of fetal tissue from legal abortions for medical research
Researchers have now used images captured by an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to map barley fields and determine which rows of plants are most in need of water
House Republicans have reversed themselves and restored the current rules of the Office of Congressional Ethics
The New York Times
Some states require women seeking abortions to be counseled that they might develop mental health problems. Now a new study, considered to be the most rigorous to look at the question in the United States, undermines that claim.
Last week a provocative leaked memo hinted at another likely element of the incoming administration’s plan for weakening climate regulations: tweaking an obscure but increasingly utilized economic measure that tallies the costs and benefits of controlling carbon pollution.
Former U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner David A. Kessler has called the failure to recognize the dangers of painkillers one of the biggest mistakes in modern medicine.
In a year of political turmoil and shock, science, too, came up with surprises. To document some of these wonders, photographers roamed the world, revealing objects from the microscopic to the cosmic in scale.