Science policy news weekly roundup: October 3, 2014

The roundup is formatted with the title of the story, followed by the news source in parentheses and a brief summary. If you find a particularly interesting article, please send it to esiebrasse@asbmb.org for inclusion in next week’s roundup.

Federal science funding

Agency leading Ebola response has had budget cut nearly $600 million since 2010 (Huffington Post) Budget cuts to the CDC likely negatively affect the agency’s ability to “to ensure global disease protection.”

Drop in U.S. funding of science thwarts dreams of the next generation (Boston Globe, editorial) The current funding situation is driving young scientists to reconsider their career choices and increasingly look to jobs abroad, which will have far-reaching effects on the future of the U.S. research enterprise. An ASBMB report is quoted.

NIH announces first wave of BRAIN grants (ScienceNOW) More than 100 researchers won 58 grants worth $110 million from the NIH as part of the president’s BRAIN initiative.

Young, brilliant and underfunded (New York Times, opinion) The average age of Nobel Prize winners is between 35 and 39-years-old, but NIH grants are awarded primarily to older scientists. U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., argues that Congress should push the NIH to fund younger scientists to promote innovation and novel discoveries.

Needed: buckets of research funding (Charlotte Observer, opinion) The importance of medical research is evident in the ongoing Ebola outbreak, but decreasing funding is having a severe effect on the enterprise.

Is an exodus of Ph.D.s causing a brain drain in the U.S.? (New Republic) While it is clear science Ph.D.s are increasingly looking abroad, the trend is now spreading to arts, humanities and social science Ph.D.s.

How government health care will save us from Ebola (Think Progress) Several federally funded U.S. agencies are engaged in the fight to stop the ongoing Ebola outbreak. Igor Volsky argues that provisions in the Affordable Care Act will contribute to the U.S. effort.

Federal budget woes slow medical research (Des Moines Register) Decreasing availability of federal funding, especially from the NIH, affects Iowa researchers.

Ebola

Ebola outbreak becomes a political fight (The Hill) A number of Republicans have criticized publicly the federal response to the Ebola outbreak, particularly regarding the first case within U.S. borders. While some advocate closing the borders or otherwise restricting entry, U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., is concerned about lack of leadership.

Democrats raise concerns over hospital’s response to Ebola (The Hill) Legislators are questioning the response to the Dallas Ebola case and whether U.S. healthcare providers have enough information to properly identify and treat suspected Ebola cases

How Libertarians would handle an Ebola outbreak in Texas (Newsweek) There are a number of Libertarian legislators in Texas, with more than 100 running in the coming election. Their views on who should manage and fund the Ebola outbreak response are quite different from most Republicans and Democrats.

Science legislation

U.S. Sen. Wicker champions updated muscular dystrophy law (news release) The MD CARE Act Amendments of 2014, a bill introduced by U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., was signed into law on Sept. 18.

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