News and Events – Sequencing newborn genomes, FY 2014 Appropriations, and the Future of Neuroscience

Posted: September 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

“Can sequencing of newborns’ genomes provide useful medical information beyond what current newborn screening already provides? Pilot projects to examine this important question are being funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), both parts of the National Institutes of Health. Awards of $5 million to four grantees have been made in fiscal year 2013 under the Genomic Sequencing and Newborn Screening Disorders research program. The program will be funded at $25 million over five years, as funds are made available.”

In the summer of 2013, ASBMB and fifteen other scientific societies conducted a survey of scientists asking questions regarding cuts to nondefense discretionary spending by Congress since 2010. Over 3,700 scientists from all fields of research responded.

Unlimited Potential, Vanishing Opportunity compiles the data from the survey into an easily understandable report that chronicles the difficulties of scientists trying to secure federal funds for research. The report clearly depicts the negative effects of these budget cuts and sequestration on individual scientists and the entire scientific research community.”

But see also ScienceInsider’s take on the study:

From AAAS – Fiscal Year 2014 Appropriations So Far: A Roundup

“The physics Nobelist and former White House science education czar has been named a faculty member in both the physics department and Stanford’s Graduate School of Education. The joint appointments, effective 1 September, give Wieman an academic perch to take his research on learning in new directions while continuing to incorporate those insights into the classroom.”

“Earlier this summer I convened more than 40 scientists, researchers, and advocates at Philadelphia’s University City Science Center to discuss the latest innovations in neuroscience research with Dr. Philip Rubin, Principal Assistant Director for Science at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).”

“Two scientists are among the four new senators for life appointed today by Italy’s president, Giorgio Napolitano. Particle physicist and Nobel Prize winner Carlo Rubbia and stem-cell specialist Elena Cattaneo will become permanent members of the Italian Senate, along with the orchestra conductor Claudio Abbado and the architect Renzo Piano, whose appointments were also announced today.”

“The European Union Parliament voted today to limit Europe’s use of biofuels based on crops such as palm oil and soya beans, years after scientists pointed out that making fuel from food crops can do more harm than good to the environment.”

“Scientists who study ocean acidification must confront a fundamental problem: it is hard to measure exactly by how much the ocean’s pH is changing. Today’s sensors don’t work well at depth or over long periods of time, and they are too expensive to deploy widely. That is where the US$2-million Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health X Prize comes in.”


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