Science policy news: weekly roundup: November 13, 2015

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 smartin@asbmb.org for inclusion in next week’s roundup.

A recent paper based on data from the National Science Foundations’ Survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates showed that the number of postdoctoral scholars at degree-granting institutions has decreased since 2010.

Biomedical science postdocs: an end to the era of expansion. (FASEB J)

U.S. Biomedical Postdoctoral Fellow Numbers Decline (Newswise)

The decline of the postdoc population and research enterprise sustainability (ASBMB Policy Blotter)

 

The National Institutes of Health has called for a moratorium on funding for human-animal, stem-cell chimera research. This week the NIH hosted a workshop to assess if new policies were required to govern chimera research.

The Federal Government Hosted a Workshop to Discuss Animal-Human Hybrids (VICE)

U.S. officials promise to create new policies for suspended ‘chimera’ research (San Jose Mercury News)

Should Human Stem Cells Be Used To Make Partly Human Chimeras? (Breakthroughs)

Human stem cells used to create part-human chimera from other species (INQUISITR)

 

The U.S. Congress passed a two-year budget which will provide partial relief from the budget caps and increase discretionary spending by 5.2 percent in fiscal 2016 but it is unclear how that will translate to increases in funding for the NIH.

Data check: How U.S. budget deal turns $30 billion into $3 billion (Science Insider)

Passage of the Bipartisan Budget Agreement of 2015 – What it really means (ASBMB Policy Blotter)

More money pledged for NIH but questions remain (The Hill)

 

The White House released the Privacy and Trust Principles which will guide the Precision Medicine Initiative.

Building Trust and Protecting Privacy: Progress on the President’s Precision Medicine Initiative (Whitehouse.gov)

Precision Medicine Initiative: Privacy and Trust Principles (Whitehouse.gov)

 

In 2001, President George W. Bush restricted the use of federal funds for embryonic stem cell research. Today as many as 15 states have programs to fund this type of research.

The last decade’s culture wars drove some states to fund stem cell research (Phys.org)

Why Many States Now Have Stem Cell Research Programs (Governing)

 

CRISPR: A path through the thicket (Nature) A group of stakeholders convened in the United Kingdom to discuss ethical concerns that surround CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing in humans.

 

NIH metric that assesses article impact stirs debate (Nature) A new metric developed by the NIH called the Relative Citation Ratio measures impact of individual journal articles by normalizing the citation frequency across disciplines.

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