Meteorologist Kelvin Droegemeier to be Nominated as White House Science Advisor
Policy and Advocacy News
July 31, 2018 | Science
President Trump announced meteorologist Kelvin Droegemeier will lead the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. A former university administer and vice-chair of NSF’s governing board, Droegemeier has been well received by science advocates who laud his credentials in both science and policy.
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July 31, 2018 | Scientific American
Representative Bill Foster (IL-11) was interviewed about his experiences as the only Ph.D. scientist left in Congress. Foster expressed his concerns about politicians making evidence-based decisions and understanding the way technology is rapidly changing society.
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August 1, 2018 | STAT
NIH plans to form an advisory board to assess the ethical compliance of its public-private partnerships and the oversight of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH). In 1990, Congress mandated FNIH to serve as an intermediary between NIH and private industry donors. Although NIH officials defend its partnership practices, many stakeholders criticize FNIH for not providing the appropriate safeguards needed to shield NIH science from industry interests.
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July 28, 2018 | Scientific American
The genetic testing company 23andMe is partnering with GlaxoSmithKline to research new drug targets and therapies for diseases including Parkinson’s. Many question 23andMe for not compensating their customers for use their data and insist that costumers are largely unaware of 23andMe’s privacy policies and Terms of Service.
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August 1, 2018 | Boston Globe
Arthur Lambert, postdoctoral fellow at Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Sciences, argues that the U.S. should not take for granted its ability to attract the world’s leading researchers. China is on pace to surpass the U.S. in research funding but is also making efforts to recruit Chinese scientists trained abroad and non-Chinese scientists. Up to this point, China’s scientific reputation has been tarnished by scientific legitimacy issues.
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Articles of Interest
July 30, 2018 | The Atlantic
Allometric scaling, the theory that brain size increases proportionally with body mass, once shaped evolutionary biologists’ understanding of the relationship between brains and intelligence. Suzana Herculano-Houzel tested this theory by distilling many species’ brains into neuronal cell bodies and found that allometric scaling is unique to primates. Allometric scaling is possible in primates’ brains because primates have few neurons that specialize in long-distance communication and many groups of neurons that communicate locally to achieve complex functions.
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July 21,2018 | NPR
Research now backs up the claim that women suffer more concussions than men when repeatedly heading a soccer ball. Scientists found that repetitive heading resulted in brain tissue disorganization and the loss of cognitive functions. Scientists and study participants alike hope this research improves the safety of children playing soccer and informs future prevention methods.
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July 31, 2018 | Nature
Japanese doctors are starting a clinical trial to introduce induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) into individuals with Parkinson’s. Previously developed in non-human primate models, reprogrammed iPS cells will be induced into dopamine precursor cells to replace the dopamine-producing neurons lost in Parkinson’s.
Learn about the living with Parkinson’s at BrainFacts.org