Lots of fun things to read!

Posted: August 27, 2012 in Ethics, Events, Policy, Science, Science Communication


Scientific America and ScienceDebate, “an idependent citizens’ initiative asking candidates for office to discuss the top science questions facing america” has created the “Top American Science Questions: Congressional Edition.” ScienceDebate urges you to contact your Members of Congress and ask that they answer the questions.



Nature News article exploring Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan’s views on non-defense research.



Research!America press release, “On the eve of the political conventions, nearly two-thirds of likely voters say the next president should announce initiatives promoting medical progress during his “first 100 days in office,” according to a new national public opinion poll…”



On Chris Mooney’s blog the Intersection, a guest post by Dylan Otto Krider discussing the effects of media’s attempt to provide balanced coverage. “If they want to reach the viewer turned off by partisan outlets, tolerating factual inaccuracy is not the way to go. Instead, maybe these suffering outlets should stop thinking about whether what they do is “left” or “right,” but accurate and true?”



“A battle over genetically modified (GM) foods in California is turning into an expensive war. Agribusinesses and food manufacturers last week pledged US$13 million to the campaign against a proposition that would require food to carry labels noting its GM content.”



“Advancing U.S.-Cuba Cooperation through Environmental Research.”



“Chemists have turned red blood cells into long-lived sensors that could be put back into circulation to monitor the makeup of patients’ blood in real time.”



“Bacteria living naturally within the gut provide a gateway to flab, according to a few reports this week. These bacteria may explain how antibiotics fatten farm animals and perhaps people too, and how certain genes predispose organisms to obesity.”



“A senior US appeals court ruled today that the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) is legally able to fund human embryonic stem cell research. ”



Curiosity update.



The National Institutes of Health “plans to give extra scrutiny to proposals from researchers receiving more than $1 million a year in direct support from grants—and may not fund them if the research overlaps with what they’re already doing.”



“The state Department of Revenue says marijuana businesses must pay sales taxes, but some contend medical pot, used as a prescription drug, is exempt from taxes and that technically the dispensaries are collectives receiving money only as donations.”



Program where “…community-health workers inspect residences for triggers like dust, poor ventilation and mold that can aggravate asthma. Then, they offer solutions” is already helping families across Washington.



“Researchers examine the relationship between flowers and their pollinators on Washington’s highest mountain — and the possible effects of climate change.”



“Wave power developers planning a project off the Oregon Coast now have the nation’s only federal permit to develop a commercial wave power park.”



“Seattle’s Infectious Disease Research Institute is cleared to begin clinical trials for a do-it-yourself, needle-free vaccine for avian influenza and for a four-part vaccine for tuberculosis.”



Jatropha, once thought to be the answer to the food vs. fuel battle, is not the miracle plant once hoped for. While it can grow in extreme soil conditions and during drought, it will not produce the oil containing seeds everyone is after.



Mobile health clinics are becoming increasingly popular. “The clinics aim to bring care to communities that are short on insurance and health care providers.”



Drought has decreased the flow of the Mississippi River to the point that saltwater from the Gulf of Mexico has begun seeping in. Mark Davis, director of the Tulane Institute on Water Resources, Law and Policy says, “With rising seas, and if we talk about deepening the channels of the rivers to accommodate bigger ships, this kind of thing is something you may face more frequently, and if you get it wrong, it can affect the vitality of industries and the health of populations.”



“…a study published in Nature finds that the age at which a father sires children determines how many mutations those offspring inherit.”


  1. Melinda Hough says:

    Hi Abbie, Thank you for highlighting ScienceDebate in such a prominent spot! From all of the steering committee we sincerely appreciate your efforts. As an aside, Scientific American is profiling one of our question issues each week on Fridays. I’ve included a link below to their previous blog post:


    TTFN, Melinda

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