Oct. 17, 2014 – This Week's Consolidation of Advocacy News
Oct. 17, 2014 | Huffington Post
In a now very well-known statement this week, NIH Director Francis Collins said, “…if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a[n Ebola] vaccine in time for this...” NIH funding has dropped 23 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars since 2003, but even with the outbreak NIH has not received any additional money. Instead, Collins and others have had to "take dollars that would've gone to something else" – such as a universal influenza vaccine – "and redirect them to this."
- Read “Ebola on the Brain” at the Brainfacts.org Blog
Oct. 17, 2014 | Record
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Director of the National Institutes of Health Francis Collins visited Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis this week to tour a few laboratories and talk to researchers, administrators, and entrepreneurs about the need to boost and sustain federal funding for scientific research. Speaking about the struggles Missouri scientists have felt in the past few years, both Blunt and Collins touted their efforts to increase funding and the resistance they’ve encountered.
- If you would like more information about hosting a public official at your laboratory, check out SfN.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oct. 16, 2014 | Nature
Following an investigation by the National Audit Office in China, the Chinese government has charged that seven leading scientists from five universities allegedly misused $4.1 million of government research grants. Two of the scientists have already pleaded guilty and been sentenced to ten-year prison terms for diverting $1.5 million and $111,000 in research funds, respectively, for personal use. Many other scientists in China were not surprised, saying the grant award system there lacks transparency and makes it easy for dishonest scientists to be corrupt.
Articles of Interest
Oct. 12, 2014 | The New York Times
Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital have published an article in Nature detailing how they were able to grow networked human neurons with familial Alzheimer’s disease mutations in a three dimensional gel. The progress of the pathology in the cells lends support to the “amyloid hypothesis” (the idea that “amyloid drives the rest of the disease”) as the cells developed amyloid-β plaques, then tau tangles, and drugs that blocked amyloid prevented both from forming.
- Get resources to teach about Alzheimer’s disease at Educational Resources in Neuroscience (ERIN).
Oct. 10, 2014 | Fox News
Scientists from Lund University in Sweden report in Science that after stroke in mice, astrocytes turn into new neurons in the injured area. However, it is not clear whether the new cells are functional and what their contribution is to recovery.
- Learn about astrocytes and other glial cells on BrainFacts.org.
Oct. 13, 2014 | Nature.com
An illuminating profile of Tebello Nyokong, a professor of medicinal chemistry and nanotechnology at Rhodes University in South Africa, including her thoughts on African science, education, and innovation.
Oct. 15, 2014 | Free Malaysia Today
The proposed Malaysian Animal Welfare Act brings hope for the ethical care and use of animals for research. An interview with Abdul Rahim Mutalib, a veterinarian and president of the KL-based Laboratory Animal Science Association of Malaysia (LASAM), talks about the need and importance of animal research regulations in Malaysia.
Oct. 15, 2014 | The Electronic Intifida
During 2013, Israel reacted angrily when Brussels officials issued a policy paper stating that the EU would not award funding to firms and institutions based in Jewish-only settlements. EU’s commissioner for scientific research, Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, has said that excluding Israeli institutions in the West Bank from EU research would be “unhelpful.” Blogger David Cronin comments, “Although the EU considers Israel’s colonization of the West Bank to be illegal, it is willing to compromise on that position for reasons of political expediency.”
- SfN is committed to working with the international research community to build support for scientific research. Learn about SfN’s global advocacy programs.