Senate passes funding bill and sends it to Trump for his signature
In a 67-28 vote, the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan two-year funding deal that sets spending levels for fiscal years 2020 and 2021 and allows the U.S. Treasury to borrow additional money to pay its debts. The bill also abolishes spending caps, effectively ending the 10-year budget limits placed on the federal government in the 2011 Budget Control Act. The bill awaits the signature of President Donald Trump, who has signaled that he will sign the bill. Read more here.
ASBMB urges the Senate to pass legislation to combat sexual harassment in science
The ASBMB applauds the passage of U.S. House Resolution 36, legislation that seeks to reduce sexual harassment in science. The ASBMB urges senators to build on the House momentum and pass the Senate version of the bill, S.B. 1067, which has yet to be voted out of committee. Read more here.
NIH releases new requirements for human fetal tissue research
The National Institutes of Health released new requirements for researchers seeking funding to perform experiments on human fetal tissue obtained from elective abortions. Researchers must now justify why the tissue is required in their experiments and why alternatives cannot be used. Documentation of consent from the woman allowing the tissue to be used in research must also be provided. Proposals using human fetal tissue from elective abortions will be assessed by an ethics advisory board composed of “scientists, bioethicists and others.” It is unclear how members of this board will be chosen. Read more here.
Likelihood of no-deal Brexit concerns U.K. scientists
New United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson signaled the possibility of the country leaving the European Union without a withdrawal agreement in place. U.K. scientists worry that this “no-deal” Brexit will prevent them from receiving E.U. science grants, procuring vital research equipment, traveling easily throughout Europe to academic conferences, and recruiting talent. The uncertainty has prompted some scientists to stockpile supplies. Read more here.