June 27, 2014 - This Week's Consolidation of Advocacy News
Brain Wave Hits California
June 24, 2014 | Nature
On June 20, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a state budget that allocates $2 million to establish the California Blueprint for Research to Advance Innovations in Neuroscience (Cal-BRAIN) project. The first state to explicitly follow the national Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, Cal-BRAIN sets itself apart from the national effort by explicitly seeking industry involvement, as other similar partnerships have done well in the state.
- Learn more about the BRAIN Initiative.
Safety Groups Target Brain Impact of Headers in Soccer
June 25, 2014 | USA Today
A new concussion safety campaign is being mounted to delay use of headers—the striking of a ball in the air by a player's head— by U.S. youth players until high school age. The effort is being mounted due to studies showing that the younger one is exposed to repetitive brain trauma, the greater the risk of later consequences. At least 30 percent of concussions in soccer are caused by heading a ball or attempting to head a ball and colliding with another player.
- Learn more about the science of concussions at BrainFacts.org.
CSIRO Funding Cuts Driven by 'Pure Ignorance', Says Staff Association
June 26, 2014 | The Guardian
Following Australia’s decision to cut the budget of its national science agency, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), by $111 million AUD over four years, workers and citizens are protesting the inevitable and devastating impact.
- Advocate for science using the resources on BrainFacts.org/Policymakers.
Record Numbers Apply for Horizon 2020 First-Round Funding
June 26, 2014 | Science Business
The European Commission received 16,000 applications in the first round of calls for Horizon 2020. This increase in bids will drop the first-round success rate for Horizon 2020 to 11 percent, half the figure seen in the Commission’s previous research program, the Seventh Framework Program.
- Learn about other European funding sources.
Universities in India Continue Animal Experiments
June 24, 2014 | Times of India
Nearly a year after University Grants Commission gave (UGC) recommendations to incorporate computer-simulation in place of animal dissection in lab experiments, none of the six research centers or university teaching departments at Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya (DAVV) have taken a step forward.
Articles of Interest
This Is the Brain Circuit That Makes You Shy
June 23, 2014 | Time
SfN member Karl Deisseroth, professor of psychiatry and bioengineering at Stanford University, has a new paper out in Cell that uses optogenetics to explore social behavior in mice. Termed fiber photometry, this new method optically records neural activity in specific circuits in awake behaving mice.
- Watch Ed Boyden’s TED talk on optogenetics at BrainFacts.org.
Science Fiction Come True: Moving a Paralyzed Hand With the Power of Thought
June 24, 2014 | Washington Post
A paralyzed man became the first to move his hand by controlling a sleeve of electrodes with his mind that stimulate the muscles in his arm.
- Watch Population Coding: Mind Reading and More! at BrainFacts.org for more about the science behind brain-machine interface.
Fix the Link Where Science and Policy Meet
June 23, 2014 | The Globe and Mail
The connection between science and public policy within the federal government is broken, and the consequences for Canada are becoming disastrous. Authors propose ways to fix this problem and discuss why Canadians should care.
- Learn about global advocacy programs in Canada.
Undermining a Cornerstone of Medical Research – Examining a Biased Commentary on Animal Studies
June 24, 2014 | Understanding Animal Research
A blog post comments on an opinion piece published in the British Medical Journal, “Is animal research sufficiently evidence based to be a cornerstone of biomedical research?” The authors discuss the biased picture the article paints and how many of the arguments cited rely on commentary from other critics of animal research.
- The article Why Animals Are Vital to Biomedical Research discusses how today’s medical advances stem from a wide-range of research tools, from computer models or cells to experiments using humans or animals.