Weekly Advocacy News Roundup
Pro-E.U. Scientists Bring Their Campaign to Brussels
April 7, 2016 | Science Business
Science campaigners making the case for Britain remaining in the E.U. in the upcoming referendum are seeking a wider audience for their message. With polls showing the majority of scientists want the U.K. to remain in the E.U., the task of campaigners such as Universities UK and Scientists for EU, is to preach beyond the converted, according to campaigners presenting their arguments and tactics in Brussels this week.
- Find global sources of research funding at SfN.org.
NIH Pulls Back on Using Bayh-Dole for Drug Pricing
April 8, 2016 | Bloomberg BNA
Under the Bayh-Dole Act, the federal agency that funded research leading to an invention can issue patent licenses on its own—thereby ignoring exclusivity rights—if “reasonable terms are not being met’’ on drug pricing and if the agency has the intellectual property on the drug's molecule. Lawmakers in both chambers recently called on the Department of Health and Human Services to exercise its rights to license generic versions of Astellas Pharma Inc.'s prostate cancer drug Xtandi as part of an effort to reduce the drug's price. NIH has now indicated a reluctance to use the agency's march-in rights to reduce the cost of prescription drugs.
- Learn more about NIH funding of neuroscience research at SfN.org.
How Africa Can Close its Continent-Wide Science Funding Gap
April 13, 2016 | Pulse
Africa is home to 15 percent of the world’s population and 5 percent of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) but accounts for just 1.3 percent of the globe’s investment in research and development (R&D). It also holds only 0.1 percent of the world’s patents, but there are increasing signs of coherence in developing scientific strategies across the continent.
- Learn about worldwide neuroscience initiatives at SfN.org.
Articles of Interest
How One Colombian Family Could Solve Some of Alzheimer’s Mysteries
April 12, 2016 | Stat News
Advances in Alzheimer's disease are coming from far-off places that may be ground zero for finding the genetic basis of this neurodegenerative disease that strips people of memories and destroys personalities. Researcher Ken Kosik writes about his work studying the largest known family with inherited Alzheimer’s disease, found in Colombia, and how studying this community has given us a clearer picture of Alzheimer’s in a small genetic microcosm.
- Learn more about Alzheimer's disease on BrainFacts.org.
More Evidence Links Football to Brain Trauma
April 12, 2016 | U.S. News & World Report
More than 40 percent of former NFL players analyzed as part of a small study showed signs of traumatic brain injury, and researchers are saying this is the strongest link yet of football's devastating effects on the brain. The study suggested that the longer a player remained in the NFL, the more likely he would show signs of traumatic brain injury on an MRI. There was no link, however, between the number of concussions a player had and the MRI results. Researchers used thinking and memory tests, as well as sensitive MRI scans, of 40 former players to come to their findings, which will be presented next week at the Academy of Neurology's annual meeting in Vancouver, Canada.
- Find out more details on traumatic brain injury at BrainFacts.org.
The Scientific Impact of Brexit: It's Complicated
April 6, 2016 | The Guardian
The potential impact of "Brexit", or the exit of the U.K. from the European Union, on U.K. science is unlikely to loom large in most people’s decision on how to vote, but the E.U. is an important matter for many scientists. Biology professor Stephen Curry details his efforts to weigh the pros and cons from the point of view of what might be the best choice for research.
- Join the advocacy network to stay informed on issues of science policy at SfN.org
The Trouble with Science Funding
April 8, 2016 | Union of Concerned Scientists
What is the appropriate role of private sector funding for scientific events and for scientific research? As government grants get increasingly competitive and public science funding decreases, researchers are strapped to find funds to support their work, especially in light of academic pressures to bring dollars to their university. For individual studies and events, scientists and institutions must decide if industry money is worthwhile and in what capacity.
- Find science funding advocacy tools at SfN.org.