Scientists and Patients Benefit from a Novel Approach to Legislating

Congress gets criticized for many things, but sometimes it gets things right and should be complimented. One of the times it got things right was the way it approached legislation to revamp the U.S. drug discovery process. In 2014, Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) realized that  … Read more

Using U.S. Census data to understand and reform biomedicine

In late 2016, Nature published a special issue (Vol 538, Issue , 27 October 2016) on “Young Scientists”, leading with the Editorial, “Early-career researchers need fewer burdens and more support” (Editorial 2016).1 The opening paragraph of the editorial stated what those of us working on  … Read more

ASCB Ensures Access to Conferences for Federal Scientists

Otto von Bismarck is reported to have said, “Laws are like sausages. It is better not to see them being made.” While it is likely that Bismarck was referring to the contents of laws and the process by which they were made, the time it  … Read more

FDA Building
Add an Extra Dose of Science to Government Rulemaking

Democracies tend to have common expectations embedded in their culture. The most fundamental of these is that we insist our government responds to our views and policy preferences. While some cynicism about the political system is healthy, representative government only functions over the long term  … Read more

ASCB Says NIH Budget Cuts Will Imperil Research Databases

FlyBase, WormBase, Saccharomyces Genome Database, ZFIN, Mouse Genome Database, and Rat Genome Database—these are all model organism databases (MODs). Essential tools for researchers, they are supported chiefly by grants from the NIH’s National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). And they are all in danger, say  … Read more

Congress and the NIH Spending Bill: The beginning of a beautiful friendship?

It turns out they like us, or so they say. Basic researchers should take note that for the second year in a row, U.S. Senate appropriators have declared funding the National Institutes of Health a national priority. In a resource-constrained environment, the Senate Labor-Health and  … Read more

Round Two of House Fetal Tissue Hearings Opens with Partisan Fisticuffs

With a bang of the gavel, round two of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Select Investigatory Committee on Infant Lives began on April 20. And just as quickly, a verbal sparring match erupted. The Select Investigatory Committee on Infant Lives was formed last summer after  … Read more

Targeted by Wastebooks, Basic Researchers Fight Back on Capitol Hill

Last December, Sheila Patek, a Duke University biologist who studies the mechanics of movement in, among other organisms, the Panamanian mantis shrimp, had her worst fears realized. An email arrived at her lab from a producer at the ABC News show, Good Morning, America, saying  … Read more

Carnival of Disaster as Rio de Janeiro Looks at 50% Science Cuts

“The tumor had given a first hint of its existence in St. Louis, but it was in Rio de Janeiro that it revealed itself, and it did so in a theatrical and grand way, as if spurred by the bright atmosphere of that explosive and  … Read more

Watching a Congressional Hearing Turn into a Witch Hunt

Last week at a congressional hearing entitled “Bioethics and Fetal Tissue” before the Select Investigatory Panel on Infant Lives, I had a front row view of a congressional hearing coming off the rails. I should explain that I am a science policy veteran of many  … Read more