Policy and Advocacy News

Researchers Win Some, Lose Some in Final U.S. Tax Bill

December 16, 2017 | Science

This article examines implications for science in the final tax bill. The final bill dropped the previously proposed changes to graduate student taxes and tax credits for research & development spending. However, research and higher education will be negatively affected by cuts to the orphan drug credits and new taxes on wealthy universities' endowments.

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NIH Tweaks Plan to Award More Grants to Younger Researchers

December 15, 2017 | Science

NIH announced its plans to award 200 new grants to researchers less than 10 years out of their training and another 200 grants to early career researchers at risk of losing all funding. NIH's strategies to address the aging scientific workforce has been highly scrutinized by scientists and modified twice within the last year.

NIH Plans Big Shake-Up of Minority Mentoring Network

December 19, 2017 | Science

Redirecting the National Research Mentoring Network, NIH announced that the second phase of its initiative will focus on researching factors influencing minorities in science. The future of existing mentoring network services is unclear.

Opinion

Loss of Net Neutrality Could Harm Research

December 12, 2017 | Nature

Implications of the FFC's net neutrality reversal are currently unknown but this editorial suggests that scholarly articles may become costly or inaccessible. The editorial also argues that reversing net neutrality compromises open source initiatives in science.

Articles of Interest

Can a multibillion-dollar biotech prove its RNA drugs are safe for a rare disease?

December 19, 2017 | Nature

Moderna Therapeutics has progressed mRNA delivery technology and shown that mRNA can be safely administered repeatedly in animal models. Although long-term safety is still in question, mRNA therapeutics have the potential to replace any missing protein.

Striking a Chord, NIH Taps the Brain to Find How Music Heals

December 19, 2017 | Associated Press

NIH’s Sound Health initiative addresses how listening and generating music is beneficial for health. The ultimate goal of NIH’s efforts is to determine the aspects of music that are therapeutic for different health situations.

Fighting Depression with Magnets

December 20, 2017 | Scientific American

Recent safety and efficacy data make TMS an increasingly common treatment for depression. TMS treatment responses are, however, inconsistent and long-lasting TMS effects are the focus of current research.

Could a Zap to the Brain Derail Destructive Impulses?

December 18, 2017 | NPR

New research suggests that deep brain stimulation can be used in reward-seeking behaviors including overeating. In an animal model of binge eating, researchers used a responsive neurostimulation system to intermittently deliver deep brain stimulation and effectively control fatty food consumption.