Renato J. Aguilera, Professor at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) and chair of the ASCBs Minorities Affairs Committee, will receive the SACNAS 2013 Distinguished Research Mentor Award. SACNAS was founded in 1973 as the Society for the Advancement of Chicano & Native Americans in Science. An ASCB member since 1990, Aguilera directs the Biology Graduate program at UTEP, which has grown to include more than 50 PhD students, half from underrepresented minorities in science. Aguilera also directs the NIH funded Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement and a National Science Foundation S-STEM grant, which have funded the training of more than 100 undergraduates. More than half of those trainees have continued on to graduate programs. Aguilera himself decided to pursue a career in research with encouragement from SACNAS founding member Eppie Rael.
A new $5,000 prize funded by a leading biomedical technology company to honor research by a graduate student member of the ASCB will be the first competition judged in keeping with guidelines from the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which ASCB endorsed in June. Candidates for the ASCB Kaluza Prize supported by Beckman Coulter, Inc., an international biomedical systems manufacturer, will be evaluated on the discoveries they have made, not on the impact factors of the journals where the results have been published, according to ASCB President Don Cleveland.
Celldance 2013, ASCB's Really Useful Cell Biology Video Contest, has engineered a truly simple PDF download of the "Mad Mice" poster. Suitable for high-resolution color printers or screen savers, the "Mad Mice" poster serves a double purpose—it will make your lab bench or office space pop (graphically) and it reminds you to enter your short video that illustrates a basic cell mechanism or process by October 31.
ASCB needs your face, your voice, and your creativity to show Congress that basic research has a human dimension. We want a group portrait of you and your labmates to share during our science advocacy days on the Hill and with our Facebook followers. And #WeAreResearch is making this a contest or rather two contests, with prizes—some for you but all for the good of American science and health.
America's uncontrolled experiment in eyes-closed sequestration of research funding has George F. Will of the Washington Post worried. With the National Institutes of Health (NIH) now enforcing cuts of 5% or $1.55 billion, Will has declared sequestration, "a public health hazard." Will writes, "NIH scientists seek intensely practical, meaning preventive and therapeutic, things that can save society more than any sequester can."
The NIH is building its portfolio in the emerging field of extracellular RNAs, known as exRNAs, with the announcement of $17 million in awards to support basic research aimed at understanding this newly discovered type of cell-to-cell interaction. NIH believes that exRNAs could play a role in numerous conditions, including cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer's disease. The Extracellular RNA Collaborative is a trans-NIH initiative, linking the efforts of five NIH institutes in pushing basic research into exRNAs.
There are more legendary places in science—Newton's apple tree or the bathtub of Archimedes—but of the real ones, there could be few more famous or harder to find than Thomas Hunt Morgan's Fly Room at Columbia University. This is the room where in 1910 Morgan and his students discovered "white" or w, the first sex-linked mutation in Drosophila melanogaster. Here began the modern era of quantitative biology and genetics. For a limited time, you can visit an uncanny version of the Fly Room itself, but only if you hurry to Brooklyn, NY.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has negotiated an agreement with the family of Henrietta Lacks, the African-American woman who died of cervical cancer in 1951 and from whom the famous cell line, HeLa, was derived. The agreement will provide researchers controlled access to the full HeLa genome, through a review group of physicians, scientists, a bioethicist, and Lacks family members, according to a report in Nature and other news media.
The inhabitants inside the Washington Beltway love secrets. They love knowing them, they love keeping them, they love letting people know they know them, and they love reading them after someone else has leaked them to a reporter. One Beltway resident recalls a neighbor's garden party where a fellow guest announced that she would have to kill her listener if she were to reveal where she worked. "I'm still not sure if she was serious or not," the party goer recalls somewhat nervously.
Given Inner Washington's passion for secrets, it is curious that the House of Representatives' secret task force on immigration reform has apparently disappeared without a trace.
President Obama announced Wednesday the nominations of France Anne Cordova, an astrophysicist and former president of Purdue University, to become Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and of Yale microbiologist and science education reformer Jo Handelsman to be the Associate Director for Science in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).