Lab Tours that Make a Difference
PA Congresswoman Secures Science Funding After Lab Tour
June 19, 2019 | Congresswoman Susan Wild
After visiting the labs of a few SfN members in the biological sciences department at Lehigh University, Representative Susan Wild saw how federal research funding can directly benefit the cutting edge research universities and students conduct. Wild then played a key role in recently securing funding by formally requesting the House Appropriations Committee include many items in the Defense and Energy and Water funding bills that passed the House. If you are interested in hosting a lab tour, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Proposal to Close UK Mouse-Research Centre is ‘Major Threat’
June 26, 2019 | Nature
Leaders and senior scientists at a national mouse-genetics centre in the United Kingdom have written an open letter decrying a recommendation to close the facility’s on-site academic research unit. The closure of the MRC Harwell Institute’s Mammalian Genetics Unit (MGU) — where scientists study disease using animal models — would be “a major threat to mouse genetics in the UK”, says the letter, organized by 14 senior Harwell scientists.
Government-Funded Research Increasingly Fuels Innovation
June 26, 2019 | National Science Foundation
By computing links between government grants and tens of millions of U.S. patents and scientific papers from 1926 to 2017, researchers have demonstrated that almost a third of patents in the U.S. rely on federal research. Although this may be a conservative estimate, this number has increased steadily over the past 90 years.
‘I Was Dying of Shame’: Mexican Science Faces Its #MeToo Moment
June 26, 2019 | Nature
Recent outpours in Mexico have prompted a fierce public discussion about the prevalence of sexual harassment and assault in the country’s universities, and the part that educational institutions should play in confronting and preventing such behaviour.
Science in the News
Making Personalized Blood-Brain Barriers in a Dish
June 27, 2019 | NIH Director’s Blog
The blood-brain barrier, or BBB, is a dense sheet of cells that surrounds most of the brain’s blood vessels. The BBB’s tiny gaps let vital small molecules, such as oxygen and water, diffuse from the bloodstream into the brain while helping to keep out larger, impermeable foreign substances that don’t belong there.
Miniature Brains Grown in the Lab Have Human-Like Neural Activity
June 27, 2019 | New Scientist
Scientists growing miniature brains in a lab have created neural networks that act like those in the human brain. They hope the discovery will enable cheaper and easier research into brain diseases and drug development. In recent years researchers have been working on creating small, three-dimensional human brains, or cerebral organoids. The hope is that they will eventually replace animal models, imaging techniques and autopsies as tools for understanding the brain.
New Test Can Detect “Hidden Consciousness” in Coma Patients
June 26, 2019 | Discover
There are some things that life never prepares you for — like the dreaded phone call that a loved one is in a coma, and you’re responsible for making their end-of-life decisions if they don’t wake up. These decisions are further complicated by the fact that there’s no true test for consciousness. And, unfortunately, it’s difficult for doctors to predict who will wake up and who won’t.
Expanding Neuroscience’s Menagerie of Model Animals
June 21, 2019 | Simons Foundation
Neuroscience once housed a menagerie of creatures, each chosen for a special attribute. Squid have two giant axons, making them an ideal candidate for Alan Hodgkin and Andrew Huxley’s famous studies of electrical transmission. Sea slugs are capable of simple learning and have easily accessible neurons, providing a basis for seminal studies in learning and memory. Frogs’ large synapses offered a handy means of studying how neuronal signals are transmitted to muscle.