Science policy news: weekly roundup: February 19, 2016 ?>

Science policy news: weekly roundup: February 19, 2016

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 for inclusion in next week’s roundup.


The U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee will not introduce companion legislation to the U.S. House’s 21st Century Cures. Instead, the HELP committee will vote on smaller biomedical research bills that have bipartisan support. Among them, the Next Generation Researchers Act, co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, was approved by the HELP committee.

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin: Strengthen America’s commitment to next generation of researchers (Wisconsin State Journal)

Senate health committee passes Next Generation Researchers Act (Healio)


A recent study by Ferric Fang and colleagues found that scientific peer review can resolve between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ grant applications but is ineffective at discerning productivity or citation frequency among awarded grants in the top 20th percentile. The authors propose using a lottery based system to award grant funding to those applicants in the top 20 percent.

NIH Grant Reviews Don’t Predict Success (The Scientist)

Researchers: Peer review system for awarding NIH grants is flawed (EurekAlert!)

Government System For Awarding NIH Grants Is No Better Than A Lottery (Science 2.0)


U.S. President Barack Obama directed his health and security teams to “accelerate research efforts” on Zika virus. Obama has called for Congress to provide $1.8 billion in emergency funding to fight Zika. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued additional travel guidelines related to Zika virus for Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

World Bank announces $150 million to fight Zika outbreak (The Washington Post)

NIH officials accelerate timeline for human trials of Zika vaccine, saying they will now begin in the summer (The Washington Post)

Expected Rise in Zika Virus and Microcephaly a ‘Huge Concern’ (AAAS)

Fauci at AAAS: Drugmakers should be lauded for stepping up to tackle Zika (BioWorld)

Why Zika is ‘much more insidious, cunning and evil’ than Ebola (The Washington Post)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.