Science policy news weekly roundup: October 17, 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.

Ebola – There have been numerous articles about Ebola this week. Instead of listing all of them, I selected several that are representative.

Ebola vaccine likely would have been found by now if not for budget cuts (Huffington Post) Sam Stein interviews National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins, who states that an Ebola vaccine would have been developed if not for the last decade of budget cuts.

The facts about Ebola funding (Politico) Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La., argues that budget cuts have not affected Ebola research. He believes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has misappropriated its funds for research unrelated to its mission and superfluous projects.

Budget cuts not to blame for Ebola (The Hill) Tommy Thompson, President Bush’s health and human services secretary, believes “lack of communication, lack of coordination, lack of information” rather than funding are to blame for the perceived poor response to Ebola.

No, budget cuts aren’t the reason we don’t have an Ebola vaccine (Vox) The ASBMB is quoted in an article evaluating Francis Collins’ claims about the effects of budget cuts on the Ebola response.

Congress presses for Ebola travel ban (Washington Post) On Thursday, the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing on the Ebola response, which is summarized in this article.

Ad blames Republican budget cuts for Ebola deaths (The Hill) The Agenda Project is running an attack ad in several battleground states that argues Republican-led budget cuts have crippled the Ebola response.

Biodisaster hospital preparedness program cut by 50 percent since 2003 (Huffington Post) U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., calls for increased funding for the U.S. Hospital Preparedness Program and highlights the funding cuts to the program over the past decade. This federal-state partnership program was initiated after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to respond to biodisasters.

The Ebola outbreak was a preventable catastrophe (Huffington Post) U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., argues that constrained resources resulting from long-term budget cuts have hampered the Ebola and enterovirus-68 responses by the NIH and the CDC.

The tangled story of why Ebola vaccine research came up short (Huffington Post) A Connecticut company that previously had its NIH funding cut is using new funds from the agency to produce an Ebola vaccine. ASBMB is also quoted.

Why your tax dollars are funding research for origami condoms (Fiscal Times) A review of the NIH grant criticized by Senator Rand Paul during the heated debate on NIH funding priorities, and a discussion on how NIH funded is determined, and why politicizing science is bad for the country.  ASBMB quoted often.

Other

Science road map for next British parliament unveiled (Chemistry World) The Campaign for Science and Engineering released a toolkit for British legislators. Its 10-year plan seeks to match German and U.S. investments in research.

Quotas proposed to back younger U.S. researchers (Chemistry World) The ASBMB is quoted in response to a plan proposed by U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., to decrease the age at which an investigator receives his or her first NIH grant.

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