Science policy news weekly roundup: November 21, 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.

Funding

Some agencies hit harder than others during sequestration (Federal News Radio) The Government Accountability Office reports that sequestration was harder on some agencies, including the National Institutes of Health, than on others. In particular, sequestration significantly impacted the grant review process at the NIH.

Representatives seek increased funding for NIH in omnibus (news release) Several members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to House leadership urging them to include NIH funding increases in the omnibus appropriations bill currently being discussed in both chambers of Congress.

Non-defense discretionary programs face more cuts in 2015 (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities) Biomedical research is one of many non-defense discretionary programs. Funding for NDD programs is expected to approach its lowest level as a share of the economy in the past five decades.

Congress

U.S. representatives question NIH grant (Baltimore Sun) Jonathan Gruber, a MIT economist, has received negative press recently for comments related to the Affordable Care Act. U.S. Reps. Andy Harris, R-Md., and Joe Pitts, R-Pa., sent a letter to the NIH requesting information on funding Gruber received from the agency for projects relating to how seniors make health insurance choices.

Senate committee passes bill to better understand unexpected pediatric deaths (news release) The U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions advanced a bill that requires the NIH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to establish protocols and training for investigating and reporting sudden, unexpected deaths of children.

U.S. Rep. Rush Holt will lead world’s largest scientific society (news release) U.S. Rep. Rush Holt, D-N.J., will be the next chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Rep. Holt is retiring from the Congress at the end of the current session.

Federal agencies

Moratorium on risky virology studies leaves work at 14 institutions in limbo (ScienceNOW) Last month, the federal government issued a pause on influenza, MERS and SARS research of potential dual use concern. It remains unclear exactly what research is included in the pause, and researchers and institutions continue to work with the NIH to develop a plan for moving forward.

NIH take steps to enhance transparency of clinical trial results (news release) Regulations on clinical trials reporting issued by the Food and Drug Administration in 2007 will now be enforced by the NIH. This change will require data from additional clinical trials to be published on the NIH’s clinical trials website.

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