Weekly Advocacy News Roundup
Bipartisan Funding Bill Proposes Cuts to Programs Fighting Chronic Disease & Racial Health Gaps
June 10, 2016 | Modern Healthcare
The NIH fiscal year 2017 budget is expected to increase, for the second consecutive year, by $2 billion, bringing the total funding to $34 billion. While the overall budget and particular programs received more robust federal support, certain CDC programs are projected to experience budget cuts. In particular, the chronic illness prevention programs are projected to lose funding, with the agency’s heart disease and diabetes prevention initiative projected to be reduced by $30 million each. The proposed bill also reduces the agency’s initiatives to reduce ethnic and racial health disparities.
- Learn about the public funding of neuroscience at SfN.org.
Brazil's Scientists Start Street Protests Against Ministry Merger
June 10, 2016 | Nature
Brazil’s scientists have been taking to the streets to protest against last month’s demotion of their country’s science ministry, but politicians say the demonstrations won’t change the controversial decision. Interim president Michel Temer, who took office in May after Dilma Rouseff was impeached, angered researchers by merging the science and telecommunications ministry as part of a move to cut public expenses. Researchers, already struggling with massive funding cuts, saw the move as weakening the status of science, which has had its own cabinet ministry for most of the past three decades.
- Find out about worldwide neuroscience initiatives at SfN.org.
Canadian Panel to Review Federal Funding for University-Based Scientific Research
June 13, 2016 | The Globe & Mail
Canada’s government has named an expert panel to conduct an unprecedented and sweeping review of how it supports university-based scientific research. Depending on their recommendations, the panel could trigger anything from minor tweaks to a major rebuild of Ottawa’s science-funding apparatus, which this year is expected to funnel more than $3-billion to Canadian researchers and their labs.
- See more science funding advocacy tools at SfN.org.
China Brain Project Aiming to Develop Effective Tools for Early Diagnosis of Brain Diseases
June 13, 2016 | Shanghai Daily
The China Brain Project, a 15-year project which focuses on the study of basic mechanisms underlying cognitive functions of the brain, early diagnosis and intervention of brain diseases, and brain-machine intelligence technology, will start operation soon, said Mu-Ming Poo, the director of the Institute of Neuroscience, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences. The government plans to incorporate substantial reforms in the funding and management systems in association of the Project, in order to ensure success of the Project.
- Find global sources of research funding at SfN.org.
Articles of Interest
Animal Rights Extremists: Pair Took Law into Their Own Hands
June 10, 2016 | Federal Bureau of Investigation
The FBI prosecuted two known animal extremists for freeing minks from a mink farm and destroying private property in 2013, thanks to the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, which allows the Department of Justice greater authority to target animal rights extremists. The two activists have recently been sentenced to jail time, as other extremists charged with similar crimes away sentencing.
- Read about SfN’s support of animals in neuroscience research at SfN.org.
In Effort to Understand Continuing Racial Disparities, NIH To Test for Bias in Study Sections
June 9, 2016 | Science
NIH has decided to find out whether its grantsmaking process discriminates against African-American scientists. Armed with new data showing black applicants suffer a 35% lower chance of having a grant proposal funded than their white counterparts, NIH officials are gearing up to test whether reviewers in its study sections give lower scores to proposals from African-American applicants.
- Learn more about the importance of diversity in neuroscience research at SfN.org.
First Monkey Genetically Engineered to Have Parkinson’s Created
June 15, 2016 | The New Scientist
Scientists have developed the first primate model of Parkinson’s disease by creating a transgenic animal expressing a mutant copy of SNCA, a known factor in human Parkinson’s disease. Monkeys begin to show prominent features of the human disease including tremor by three years of age. The model also responds to the gold standard treatment for human Parkinson’s disease, Levedopa, and may serve as model to understand the basic neurobiology underlying the condition.
- Learn more about new treatments for Parkinson’s disease at BrainFacts.org.
Animal Research is a Labor of Love
June 10, 2016 | Courier-Post
Opposition to animal research is at odds with anyone who takes medicine to guard against seizures, strokes or low blood sugar, anyone who has been vaccinated, and anyone whose life — or that of a parent, spouse, child, friend or pet — has been saved by early detection technologies or surgery. Animal research was critical for each of these advances. Animal research will remain a significant requirement for biomedical progress for decades to come.
- Find resources about the use of animals in research on Neuronline.
Passing 'Cures' Bill Means Better Health Possible for Virtually Every American
June 15, 2016 | The Hill
Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) believes the 21st Century Cures to be a legislative agenda that should receive bipartisan support. The act aims to further understand contemporary health issues, including Alzheimer’s disease and AIDS, and to develop effective therapies to treat these conditions. With a growing number of Americans suffering from terminal and burdensome conditions, the 21st Century Cures act may provide the support necessary to meet these biomedical challenges.
- Join the advocacy network to stay informed on issues of science policy at SfN.org