sequestration

Adipose- derived stem cells. Source: Pendleton, Li, et. al. Mesenchymal Stem Cells Derived from Adipose Tissue vs Bone Marrow:In Vitro Comparison of Their Tropism towards Gliomas. 2013. PLOSONE. Recent research from Johns Hopkins Medicine that received government support shows that stem cells isolated from a patient’€™s own fat may be able to deliver new treatments directly into the brain to fight an aggressive brain tumor. The work, done in the laboratory of Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, MD, is a proof-of-principle study that tests the ability of a particular type of stem cell, mesenchymal stem cells, to locate damaged or cancerous cells. Cancer cells, particularly those in glioblastomas, the...
Dear Research Advocate, House of Representatives Science Committee Chair Lamar Smith’€™s (R-TX) proposed legislation, the “ High Quality Research Act ,” would undermine, rather than achieve, “high quality” in research, since it would create several new hoops for approval of NSF-funded grants. These appear to be based on the mistaken idea that science follows a linear path to a single metric for success or failure. And the bill requires the NSF director to attest in advance to the success of each funded proposal! Letters penned by former NSF directors and National Science Board chairs and former NSF assistant directors warn of the “chilling and detrimental impact” this legislation could have...
Dear Research Advocate, President Obama spoke to the National Academies of Science on Monday. I commend his remarks to you. He charged the members of the Academy, and by extension the science community writ large, to engage at ’€œthe center and the heart of our public debate.’€ He said that IF scientists do so, the nation will be assured of continued prominence. IF is a tall order — it makes most scientists very uncomfortable, but it is essential that we get out of our comfort zone right now. The president didn’€™t pound his fist on the podium in stressing this, so I will. The science community simply cannot step away from the public and political fray right now; not if we want to see the...
By Wendy K. D. Selig, president and CEO of Melanoma Research Alliance The Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA), a unique non-profit organization that funds the most promising melanoma research, was founded in 2007 by Debra and Leon Black under the auspices of the Milken Institute. In just six years, MRA has become the largest private funder of melanoma research and has awarded almost $48 million to 116 different research programs worldwide. MRA-supported projects are dedicated to accelerating progress toward the prevention, detection and treatment of deadly skin cancer. In order to raise awareness of this disease and the need to invest in research for live-saving treatments, we are...
With so much national attention focused on the impact of sequestration on air travel, one might think there was no other area of the federal budget feeling the pain of these across the board cuts. Today, National Public Radio’€™s Marketplace shed more light on the less obvious but devastating cuts that are affecting biomedical and health research and the careers of scientists. You can listen to the segment , featuring Research!America’€™s President and CEO, Mary Woolley, and R!A communications intern Megan Kane, who recently received her PhD in human genetics but has difficulty finding a post-doc position in a lab due to the funding cuts. Do you have something to contribute to the national...
By Robert Weiner and Patricia Berg, PhD You can’€™t sequester cancer. You can only hurt the research to treat and prevent the diseases, and stop the treatments themselves. That is the message of 18,000 scientists gathered for the American Association for Cancer Research’€™s annual convention in Washington. A rally for medical research with those thousands of scientists ’€” usually wonky researchers poring over their microscopes ’€” was held on the grounds of the Carnegie Library across from the Washington Convention Center. In rhythm to drumbeats, the scientists became political advocates as they chanted after each speaker, ’€œMore progress! More hope! More life!’€ Cancer is neither...
The 2012 State Technology and Science Index from the Milken Institute provides a state-by-state breakdown of technology and science capabilities and how well states have converted those assets into companies and high-paying jobs. Where does your state rank? Massachusetts ranked number one for the past 5 indices’€”released every two years’€”topped by an all-time high score in 2012. Analysts point to a large number of top-tier universities with research programs and cutting-edge science and tech firms as major contributors in Massachusetts. Analysis of this year’€™s report shows that technology and science industries can lead the way in economic recovery. Average scores were higher in the...
Dear Research Advocate, Senators Casey (D-PA) and Burr (R-NC), recently honored with our Whitehead Award for Research Advocacy, have joined forces again with a bipartisan letter calling for a strong commitment to NIH funding in FY 14. Please take a moment now to urge your senators to sign on to this letter. And say thank you to Senators Burr and Casey for being champions for research! In past letters, I’€™ve written about attempts by Congress to micromanage and in some cases, attack critical components of our nation’€™s research portfolio. The social sciences have been targeted time and time again despite the immense value of these programs and the return on investment they represent. In...
CVD 2013 student delegation at the Capitol; Photo Credit: Charles Haynes Amidst difficult budget negotiations on Capitol Hill, on March 12 and 13, MIT students and postdocs traveled to Washington to sound a warning about the future of science and engineering research in this country if indiscriminate cuts to federal programs continue. In addition to mostly flat funding in recent budgets, language in the Budget Control Act of 2012 calling for across-the-board cuts’€”known as ’€œsequestration’€’€”took effect on March 1. These cuts, in addition to the ongoing erosion of federal funding for scientific research, decrease America’€™s ability to maintain economic growth and remain globally...
The president’s FY14 budget proposal offers a lifeline for medical research to replace sequestration’s damaging footprints. The budget includes $31.3 billion for the National Institutes of Health, as well as increases for the Food and Drug Administration and National Science Foundation. These increases would take our nation in the right direction, but we’re concerned that budget proposals from Congress – one from each of the House and Senate – unlike the president, fail to reverse sequestration. Sequestration, 10 years of across-the-board spending cuts, will drag our nation down from its leadership position in research and development as other countries aggressively ramp up investments,...

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If concerted, long-term investments in research are not made, America will lose an entire generation of young scientists.
Brenda Canine, PhD; McLaughlin Research Institute, Montana