News and Events: Patent troll bill stalls, Climate Change super PAC takes aim, and NIH to regulate sex balance in experimental design

Posted: May 23, 2014 in Ethics, Events, Funding, Jobs, Policy

http://blogs.nature.com/news/2014/05/nih-to-require-sex-reporting-in-preclinical-studies.html

“The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) will require grant applicants to report the sex of animals and cells used in preclinical studies, officials said today….

Under the new NIH policy, which will begin to take effect in October of this year, grant applicants will have to describe how they plan to balance the sexes for cells and animals used in their studies….

Yet the problem is bigger than just sex bias: factors such as age and genetic background can all greatly influence how an animal responds to a treatment. Brad Bolon, a veterinary pathologist at Ohio State University in Columbus, thinks the new NIH rules ignore the real problem. “By drawing so much attention to matter of sex, it avoids the whole crux of the issue,” which is too little transparency on the details of experimental design as a whole, he says.

Bolon also worries about added costs that may result from the new rules. To get enough statistical power to draw conclusions about each sex, researchers may need to double the number of animals used in the study. “Arbitrarily saying that research must be done in both sexes, especially early on, is going to take money out of testing truly novel hypotheses,” he says.”

 

http://news.sciencemag.org/policy/2014/05/u.s.-senate-shelves-long-debated-patent-troll-bill

A U.S. Senate bill intended to crack down on frivolous patent lawsuits has floundered after months of negotiation between key stakeholders. The bill aimed to discourage so-called patent trolls—companies that amass patents with no intention of making any product and instead generate revenue by filing suits against allegedly infringing firms. But opponents of the bill—including university groups and biotech firms—feared the Senate’s offensive against patent predators would make it too costly for legitimate patent holders to protect their claims.”

 

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=314737115&ft=1&f=

Setting his sights on Republicans who reject climate change, an environmentalist billionaire is unveiling plans to spend $100 million this year in seven competitive Senate and gubernatorial races, as his super PAC works to counteract a flood of conservative spending by the Koch brothers.”

 

http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2014/05/nih-will-no-longer-require-special-review-u.s.-gene-therapy-trials

In a milestone for the field of gene therapy, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will no longer subject all proposed gene therapy clinical trials to review by a special federal advisory committee.”

 

http://blogs.nature.com/news/2014/05/uproar-as-anti-gm-vine-activists-acquitted-in-france.html

“French scientists are up in arms over the recent court acquittal of 54 activists who destroyed 70 experimental genetically modified (GM) grapevines in eastern France in August 2010.”

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s