medical research

Excerpt of an op-ed by columnist George F. Will, published in The Washington Post. ’€œThe capacity to blunder slightly is the real marvel of DNA. Without this special attribute, we would still be anaerobic bacteria and there would be no music.’€ ’€” Lewis Thomas The pedigree of human beings, Thomas wrote, probably traces to a single cell fertilized by a lightning bolt as the Earth was cooling. Fortunately, genetic ’€œmistakes’€ ’€” mutations ’€” eventually made us. But they also have made illnesses. Almost all diseases arise from some combination of environmental exposures and genetic blunders in the working of DNA. Breast cancer is a family of genetic mutations. The great secret of...
Excerpt of an op-ed by columnist George F. Will, published in The Washington Post. ’€œThe capacity to blunder slightly is the real marvel of DNA. Without this special attribute, we would still be anaerobic bacteria and there would be no music.’€ ’€” Lewis Thomas The pedigree of human beings, Thomas wrote, probably traces to a single cell fertilized by a lightning bolt as the Earth was cooling. Fortunately, genetic ’€œmistakes’€ ’€” mutations ’€” eventually made us. But they also have made illnesses. Almost all diseases arise from some combination of environmental exposures and genetic blunders in the working of DNA. Breast cancer is a family of genetic mutations. The great secret of...
Op-ed by The Honorable John Edward Porter, Research!America Chair and former U.S. Representative (1980 ’€“ 2001) published in CNN . At every congressional recess, the question remains: What has Congress accomplished to advance medical innovation, or for that matter any of our national priorities? A ritual of leaving town with no meaningful action on pressing issues seems to have taken hold as lawmakers once again meet with voters in their districts. Indeed, much will happen during this break, but as elected officials hold yet another town hall meeting, Facebook or Twitter chat or public event, thousands will be diagnosed with cancer or get the dreaded confirmation from a physician that they...
Op-ed by The Honorable John Edward Porter, Research!America Chair and former U.S. Representative (1980 ’€“ 2001) published in CNN . At every congressional recess, the question remains: What has Congress accomplished to advance medical innovation, or for that matter any of our national priorities? A ritual of leaving town with no meaningful action on pressing issues seems to have taken hold as lawmakers once again meet with voters in their districts. Indeed, much will happen during this break, but as elected officials hold yet another town hall meeting, Facebook or Twitter chat or public event, thousands will be diagnosed with cancer or get the dreaded confirmation from a physician that they...
Dear Research Advocate: The Commerce Department'€™s report of the U.S. trade deficit narrowing to its lowest level since October 2009 is welcome news, but the devil is in the details. Despite the economic progress, our trade deficit with China is nearly as large as our overall trade deficit. Put that together with the fact that China is rigorously investing in R&D while our nation stifles it, and you can see the handwriting on the wall. U.S. export capabilities will be stymied while China'€™s are bolstered. It'€™s not a recipe for a strong and stable economy going forward. China is not the only nation steadily increasing investment in R&D, taking a page from what used to be the U.S...
Dear Research Advocate: The Commerce Department’€™s report of the U.S. trade deficit narrowing to its lowest level since October 2009 is welcome news, but the devil is in the details. Despite the economic progress, our trade deficit with China is nearly as large as our overall trade deficit. Put that together with the fact that China is rigorously investing in R&D while our nation stifles it, and you can see the handwriting on the wall. U.S. export capabilities will be stymied while China’€™s are bolstered. It’€™s not a recipe for a strong and stable economy going forward. China is not the only nation steadily increasing investment in R&D, taking a page from what used to be the U.S...
John Eng, MD, was recently named as the latest winner of the Golden Goose Awards. Eng is the second winner announced in 2013, and others will be named in the coming weeks. The Golden Goose Award was created last year to celebrate researchers whose seemingly odd or obscure federally funded research turned out to have a significant, positive impact on society. Eng, a one-time researcher with the Veterans Administration in New York City, discovered that the venom contained in the bite of a Gila monster ’€” a lizard native to the southwest U.S. and northwest Mexico ’€” had components that could aid diabetics. His research was funded by the VA and built on previous studies funded by the National...
John Eng, MD, was recently named as the latest winner of the Golden Goose Awards. Eng is the second winner announced in 2013, and others will be named in the coming weeks. The Golden Goose Award was created last year to celebrate researchers whose seemingly odd or obscure federally funded research turned out to have a significant, positive impact on society. Eng, a one-time researcher with the Veterans Administration in New York City, discovered that the venom contained in the bite of a Gila monster ’€” a lizard native to the southwest U.S. and northwest Mexico ’€” had components that could aid diabetics. His research was funded by the VA and built on previous studies funded by the National...
After more than four months of discussions, the National Institutes of Health and the family of Henrietta Lacks have reached a mutual agreement that will serve to both advance medical research and protect Lacks’€™ descendants. In 1951, Lacks died of cervical cancer at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Before her death, doctors removed some of her tumor cells. And something amazing happened. Her cells had a property not seen before: They could grow in a lab. Those cells, now called HeLa cell, were everlasting. ’€œWe have agreed that NIH-supported researchers will deposit any DNA sequences derived from HeLa cells into NIH’€™s dbGAP database, and have established a process through which...
After more than four months of discussions, the National Institutes of Health and the family of Henrietta Lacks have reached a mutual agreement that will serve to both advance medical research and protect Lacks’€™ descendants. In 1951, Lacks died of cervical cancer at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Before her death, doctors removed some of her tumor cells. And something amazing happened. Her cells had a property not seen before: They could grow in a lab. Those cells, now called HeLa cell, were everlasting. ’€œWe have agreed that NIH-supported researchers will deposit any DNA sequences derived from HeLa cells into NIH’€™s dbGAP database, and have established a process through which...

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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