Aug. 29, 2014 - This Week's Consolidation of Advocacy News
Research Funding Cuts to Top $6 billion, Labor Says
Aug. 27, 2014 | The Sydney Morning Herald
Like a lot of western countries, Australia is facing cuts to its science research budget. Current estimates project a cut of six billion Australian dollars, including cuts to research and programs like higher education, which indirectly impact research.
How Tech Could Spell the End of Animals in Drugs Testing
Aug. 23, 2014 | The Guardian
Due to several challenges, fewer and fewer drugs are currently being developed. As technology changes, scientists are hoping to be able to test new drugs in better computer simulations and other analogues and eliminate the need to test on animals. Technologies such as an organ on a chip, miniature hearts that can beat up to 30 times a minute, and new stem cell research are driving the future.
- Learn what else technology is doing to further scientific research at BrainFacts.org.
Animal Welfare Accreditation Questioned
Aug. 26, 2014 | Science
As both NIH and the Department of Defense (DOD) waive certain inspection requirements for labs vetted by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) International, the findings of a study conducted by an animal rights organization may force a rethink of how lab animal welfare is overseen in the United States and other countries.
- SfN has resources about animal welfare and the regulatory agencies responsible for ensuring research animals are treated humanely in biomedical research.
Articles of Interest
NIH to Probe Racial Disparity in Grant Awards
Aug. 19, 2014 | Nature News
The director of the Center for Scientific Review at NIH has announced that, beginning in September, NIH will conduct extensive analyses to determine whether bias hinders underrepresented minorities during the grant review process.
- Read about SfN’s programs to increase the diversity of the neuroscience workforce.
How Movies Manipulate Your Brain to Keep You Entertained
Aug. 26, 2014 | Wired
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recently hosted an event to bring neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists together with filmmakers to explore the interface of the two disciplines.
- Watch Chuck Close’s keynote address at Neuroscience 2012 in which he discusses the intersection of art and neuroscience.
Study Finds That Brains With Autism Fail to Trim Synapses as They Develop
Aug. 21, 2014 | The New York Times
A new study published in Neuron compared post-mortem brain tissue from brains of children and adolescents with and without autism, to shed light on the brain changes that accompany the disorder. The researchers found that the two groups did not differ greatly at younger ages, but older adolescents with autism had significantly more spines than typically-developing teens. This suggests a problem with spine pruning during development, rather than overproduction.
- Read David Amaral’s primer on autism for the lay public on BrainFacts.org.
Commentary: A Looming Crisis in Medical Research
Aug. 23, 2014 | Indiana Gazette
The author claims that the way we conduct medical research in the United States “swallows good ideas and great science.” Reminding us that funding is driven my political ideology, she emphasizes that “government funding for medical research is now at a critical stage. It has flat-lined since 2000, as medical costs have ballooned and sequestration has hit hard.”
- Learn about how appropriated funds impact your science in SfN’s webinar From Congress to Your Lab: How Federal Funding Affects Your Science.
Pouring Water on Opponents of Animal Research
Aug. 26, 2014 | Understanding Animal Research
Understanding Animal Research’s chief executive, Wendy Jarrett, challenges Pamela Anderson's hypocrisy in opposing the animal research used to understand motor neurone disease (or ALS). The ex-Baywatch star has refused to join the many celebrities taking part because the ALS Association supports research using animals.