Oct. 10, 2014 - This Week's Consolidation of Advocacy News
Nobel Prize in medicine awarded for discovery of brain’s ‘GPS’
October 6, 2014 | Washington Post
John O´Keefe, SfN Council member Edvard I. Moser, and May-Britt Moser are the winners of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for working to explain how the brain creates a map of the external environment and allows for navigation in that environment. The discovery of what the group called the brain's "inner GPS" has "solved a problem that has occupied philosophers and scientists for centuries."
- Learn about the Mosers’ fascinating work at BrainFacts.org.
Microscope work wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry
October 8, 2014 | BBC News
Eric Betzig, William Moerner, and Stefan W. Hell won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work in using fluorescence to extend the limits of the light microscope. Optical microscopes had previously been held back by a presumed limitation: that they would never obtain a better resolution than half the wavelength of light. But the Nobel winners used fluorescent molecules to circumvent this limitation, allowing scientists to see things at much higher levels of resolution.
- At Neuroscience 2014, Hell will give a special lecture titled Nanoscopy With Focused Light: Principles and Applications as well as participate in a press conference on technological breakthroughs that are transforming the field of neuroscience.
Europe’s brain project is ‘back on track’
October 7, 2014 | Swiss Info
One year after the launch of the Human Brain Project (HBP) – a major European Commission-led brain mapping initiative – the project’s supporters boast 'remarkable' results and say the venture is on track after a public disagreement with dissenting neuroscientists.
- Learn all about the Human Brain Project at their website, and learn about other neuroscience projects aimed at unlocking the mysteries of the human brain around the world at BrainFacts.org.
Marmosets are stars of Japan’s ambitious brain project
October 8, 2014 | Nature
Japan announced the details of its brain mapping project, which will be funded at US$27 million for the first year. The article describes the leaders of this new project and how it will be organized. Uniquely, Japan will use its large population of marmosets in its research because they are thought to be an especially good model for human diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer’s disease as well as other disorders.
- The 2014 Neuroscience Public Advocacy Forum will feature Hideyuki Okano, MD, PhD, who will speak in part about plans in Japan.
Articles of Interest
The BRAIN Initiative and Grand Challenge Scholars
October 9, 2014 | Office of Science and Technology Policy Blog
This blog post features an interview with two students from the National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenge Scholars Program who were invited to the White House BRAIN Conference on September 30, 2014.
- Get more information on the BRAIN Initiative and other worldwide neuroscience initiatives at SfN.org.
Glut of postdoc researchers stirs quiet crisis in science
October 5, 2014 | The Boston Globe
This article describes the growing awareness in the scientific community that the current training environment, with increasing numbers of post-docs for a finite number of academic positions, is not sustainable.
- Learn about scientific careers and training at the NeuroJobs Career Center.
A glimpse into the inner workings of the 3D brain: Researchers build computer models to explore how memories form
October 7, 2014 | Daily Mail
Scientists in Germany have created a new computer model of the hippocampus that will allow researchers to “generate feasible network structures more easily than using other tools.”
- Read more about the hippocampus at BrainFacts.org.
How do you make Republicans care about animal testing? Anthony Bellotti has a plan<
October 7, 2014 | Huffington Post
Anthony Bellotti, a Republican strategist specializing in opposition research, says “Ending forced taxpayer-funded animal experimentation is my life’s work.” A few years ago Bellotti started the non-profit White Coat Waste with this goal in mind. Read about why Bellotti thinks lifesaving animal research is a waste of government funding in a recent interview.
- Learn about animal research successes on BrainFacts.org, many of which were funded by the government.
A call to those who care about Europe’s science
October 8, 2014 | Nature
Amaya Moro-Martin, an astrophysicist at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STSI) in Baltimore, Maryland, and a member of the governing board of Euroscience, writes that better collaboration is a laudable goal, but that alone will not be enough to fix the damage caused by Europe’s falling investment. She and her colleagues from across Europe have drafted an open letter to national governments and the European Parliament and Commission to voice their concern about the future of research in Europe.
- Check out SfN’s Making the Case factsheets for information on how a strong research sector contributes to the economy.