Weekly Advocacy News Roundup
Academics Fear New Brexit – a Brain Exit – After Referendum Vote
June 24, 2016 | The Independent
In wake of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, scientists are concerned with the ramifications of leaving for E.U. staff and students in Britain. With about 23% of research scientists at Cambridge University hailing from E.U. countries, it is important to ensure stability and certainty for the staff. Although the exit will be gradual, scientists urge for a policy that will continue allow bright minds from E.U. countries to work and study at British universities.
- Find out about worldwide neuroscience initiatives at SfN.org.
House Panel, Agencies Oppose Boost in Basic Research Tax
June 16, 2016 | Science
The Obama administration and a key congressional committee weighed in against legislation that would increase the share of federal research dollars going to small businesses, claiming that increasing the set-asides for these programs would erode support for academic research. The funding for the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs has grown more quickly than the overall research budget for many of the agencies that set aside funds for them.
- Learn about the public funding of neuroscience at SfN.org.
Labor Party Pledges $1.2 Billion to Repair Australia's Science
June 17, 2016 | The Sydney Morning Herald
After the large 2013 budget cuts to the Australian science programs, the country’s Labor party plans to reinvest in the nation’s scientific activities. Plans include making biosecurity a pressing concern, as Australia’s plant and animal production annually generates $53 billion and employs 280,000 people. Additionally, the party intends to amend the damage done to university research funding as well as to research on the effects of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef.
- Find global sources of research funding at SfN.org.
Articles of Interest
Federal Panel Approves First Test of CRISPR Editing in Humans
June 21, 2016 | The Washington Post
An early-stage clinical trial involving CRISPR has received approval from the federal Recombinant DNA Advisory committee. The trial intends to modify the T-cells of patients suffering from melanoma, multiple melanoma and sarcoma to effectively target the patient’s own cancer cells. This novel therapy combines two innovative approaches, gene-editing and immunotherapy, to address maladies such as cancer.
- Read more about CRISPR technologies on BrainFacts.org.
NIH Finalizes Single IRB Policy to Reduce Redundancies
June 20, 2016 | Regulatory Affairs Professional Society
In an effort to meet the challenges of large multi-site clinical trials, NIH has taken steps to reduce administrative burdens and improve the efficacy of the IRB review process. The move towards a single IRB for multi-site will be enacted next year is aimed to redirect attention and time from redundant reviews towards improved research oversight.
- Find out about neuroscience funding from NIH at SfN.org
New Genetic Candidate for Treating PTSD
June 20, 2016 | Science Daily
While current treatments have been limited in providing therapeutic relief to patients suffering from trauma and stress related disorders, a recently identified genetic candidate for fear-learning may serve as a therapeutic target for future therapies for post-traumatic stress disorder. The study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, identified a novel gene, Hcn1, implicated in fear learning. Hcn1 disruption prior to the learning challenge lead to the mice being unable to learn to fear the stimulus, and when Hcn1 was disrupted after the challenge mice were able to learn fear but were unable to express it.
What Are the Mumps?
June 19, 2016 | St. James Leader Journal
Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) discusses his efforts to increase our commitment to biomedical research and advance progress toward new, live-saving cures as the Chairman of the Senate Appropriates Subcommittee that funds NIH. The Senate is on track to provide NIH a $2 billion increase for the second year in a row, while eliminating a range of other programs that some legislators deem to be duplicative or less effective.
- Learn more about the congressional committees that dictate federal funding at SfN.com
Time for Congress to Come Together on 21st Century Cures
June 22, 2016 | Morning Consult
The U.S. is traditionally a leader in medical innovation, and yet without a renewed effort to ensure our policy framework supporting stays current, we risk not just falling behind other nations, but depriving our patients of much-needed cures. Considerable bipartisan effort has already been made over the last two years to develop legislative proposals aimed at bolstering medical innovation and speeding access to new drugs and medical devices but much remains to be done before this legislation can go forward.Join the advocacy network to stay informed on issues of science policy at SfN.org