Neuroscientist’s Guide to Advocacy
The Neuroscientist’s Guide to Advocacy: What is Advocacy and Why Does it Matter?
June 2019 | Neuronline
By uniting our voices, we can help to advance neuroscience research priorities and scientific discovery. In SfN’s newest collection of advocacy training videos, you’ll learn why your voice as a scientist is crucial in making the case for continued funding, and how to connect with your legislators in efficient and meaningful ways, whether or not you’re in Washington, D.C. Watch the first video in the series today on what advocacy is and why it matters.
House Votes to Overturn Trump Administration Ban on Fetal Tissue Research
June 13, 2019 | Stat News
House lawmakers on Thursday voted to overturn the Trump administration’s recent decision to ban federal funding for biomedical research involving human fetal tissue. Democrats prevailed in a 225-193 vote divided roughly on party lines, slipping the amendment from Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) into a broader 2020 spending package.
N.I.H. Head Calls for End to All-Male Panels of Scientists
June 12, 2019 | New York Times
The word “scientist” does not specify a gender. And yet, for eons — well, ever since conferences and symposiums emerged from the primordial academic soup — the majority of prominent scientific speakers and panelists have been men. This phenomenon has been documented in studies and spawned many mocking monikers: “manference,” “himposium,” “manel.”
Sudanese Academics Defiant as Revolution Turns Bloody
June 11, 2019 | Nature
Sudan’s universities are shut, flights have been suspended and the Internet remains almost entirely blocked after a brutal crackdown in which paramilitaries are thought to have killed some 100 pro-democracy protestors. A number of politicians opposed to the current military-backed government were also arrested. But none of this has dented the resolve of the protestors, whose ranks include several prominent academics and whose demands include freeing universities from government influence.
Indian Initiatives Aim to Break Science’s Language Barrier
June 10, 2019 | Nature
Scientists and policymakers across India are aiming to bring science to the nation’s citizens and residents whose main language is not English. They’re producing content such as articles and podcasts and giving talks about discoveries and studies in health science, biology, biotechnology and astronomy in some of the nation’s 22 official languages, including Hindi, Marathi, Kannada and Tamil.
Science in the News
Using Gene Editing, Neuroscientists Develop a New Model for Autism
June 12, 2019 | MIT News
Using the genome-editing system CRISPR, researchers at MIT and in China have engineered macaque monkeys to express a gene mutation linked to autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders in humans. These monkeys show some behavioral traits and brain connectivity patterns similar to those seen in humans with these conditions.
Small, Furry and Powerful: are Mouse Lemurs the Next Big Thing in Genetics?
June 12, 2019 | Nature
Mouse lemurs are more closely related to humans, genetically speaking, yet still have many of the advantages of mice in terms of small size, rapid reproduction and relatively large litters. As such, they can shed light on some questions about human biology and disease that mice simply can’t. They have been studied by ecologists for years, but now scientists from Stanford University think they could become a classic model for genetics research. Learn more and watch the additional video from Nature.
Research Moves Closer to Brain-Machine Interface Autonomy
June 11, 2019 | University of Houston
A University of Houston engineer is reporting in eNeuro that a brain-computer interface, a form of artificial intelligence, can sense when its user is expecting a reward by examining the interactions between single-neuron activities and the information flowing to these neurons, called the local field potential.
Do Brains Operate at a Tipping Point? New Clues and Complications
June 10, 2019 | Quanta Magazine
A team of Brazilian physicists analyzing the brains of rats and other animals has found the strongest evidence yet that the brain balances at the brink between two modes of operation, in a precarious yet versatile state known as criticality. At the same time, the findings challenge some of the original assumptions of this controversial “critical brain” hypothesis.