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Research!America is dedicated to ensuring a strong public and private sector investment in research to improve health at a level warranted by scientific opportunity and supported by public opinion. Member organizations and others share their perspectives on a wide variety of topics relating to public and private sector research and innovation, and public health. The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the view of Research!America.

Recent Blog Posts

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is marking this year’€™s multiple sclerosis Awareness Week with a national campaign, ’€œ Every Connection Counts .’€ The campaign seeks to raise awareness of MS and draw attention to the impact of MS; this disease ’€œdivides minds from bodies, pulls people from their lives and away from one another,’€ according to the National MS Society . Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, debilitating condition that is triggered by the body’€™s immune system attacking the central nervous system, which includes the brain, spine and optic nerves. This aberrant immune response targets myelin, a protective sheath that covers nerve fibers like rubber around an electrical...
Did you know that neglected tropical diseases such as dengue, Chagas and hookworm affect over 1.4 billion people worldwide, including individuals here in the U.S.? To discuss the global burden of NTDs and how federal funding and policy decisions impact the research and development of tools to combat these diseases around the world, Research!America will be hosting a panel at the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) conference*. The panel, ’€œAre NTDs a Growing Threat? Research, Access and Next Steps,’€ will be held on Thursday, March 14 at 1:30 p.m. at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. The conversation will be moderated by Karen Goraleski, Executive Director of the American...
Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that a Nepalese man detained at the U.S.-Mexico border has extremely drug-resistant tuberculosis, XDR-TB. Tuberculosis, a potentially fatal disease that can be passed through the air, has historically been curable with appropriate treatment. However, new strains of TB that are resistant to available drugs have recently emerged and pose a significant public health threat. Some strains are resistant to only a few drugs (multi-drug resistant TB) while other strains, such as the one carried by the man in this story, are resistant to nearly all existing drugs. Because of this, XDR-TB is extremely difficult to treat and experts warn that new drugs will...
New research from Research!America member Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis shows that a component of bee venom can be safely used to target and kill HIV virus particles while leaving human cells intact. The compound, called melittin, punches holes in the outer protective coat, or ’€œenvelope,’€ of viruses, including HIV. Researchers modified the nanoparticle to protect human cells from the toxin by adding ’€œbumpers’€ to prevent the toxin-laden particles from fusing with cells, yet the smaller virus particles are able to fit between these bumpers and interact with melittin. The lead author on the study, Joshua L. Hood, MD, PhD, says that application of this new...
March 8, International Women’€™s Day, ’€œhas grown to become a global day of recognition and celebration across developed and developing countries alike,’€ reads InternationalWomansDay.com, a global hub for sharing news and resources about the day. While great strides have been made in the past hundred years to improve the health and equality of women in America, there are still areas of medical care and research where women are at risk; these areas represent a great opportunity for America to lead the way in promoting health and equality for women around the world. Some Research!America alliance member organizations work every day to bring increased awareness to health issues affecting...
Dear Research Advocate, Yesterday, the House passed a budget for the remainder of the fiscal year that includes this year’€™s cuts from sequestration along with an additional one percent across-the-board cut. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration, where we are likely to see higher funding levels than the House version, but with sequestration still in place. Congress seems anxious to avoid the brinksmanship and the government shutdown threats that have characterized past debates. While the less rancorous environment surrounding the CR is a welcome change, the complacency around sequestration is not. As research advocates, we cannot let these cuts stand. Sequestration isn’€™t a...
On March 4, NIH-supported investigators reported the first ever "€œfunctional cure"€ of HIV in a toddler in Mississippi. The child received antiretroviral drugs within hours of birth and continued on the drugs for 18 months, when treatment was stopped. Despite discontinued treatment, the toddler no longer had detectable levels of HIV when seen by medical professionals 6 months later. Subsequent tests confirmed that the child had indeed been "€œfunctionally cured"€ of HIV. Although more research is necessary to see if these results can be duplicated, scientists believe this provides hope for the hundreds of thousands of children born with HIV each year. NIH funding not only supported...
Just released data from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) details the final amount to be cut from federal research program budgets as sequestration goes into effect. The full details are available on the updated Research!America sequestration fact sheet , though previous projections were relatively accurate as compared to these final numbers. Cuts to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration will be higher than previously expected, with a combined loss of $593 million dollars for FY13. That amount is roughly equivalent to ensuring the safety of new medical and biological products at the FDA and programs that focus on prevention...
On February 28, Rare Disease Day , more than 60 countries and hundreds of organizations come together to raise awareness of the plight of those afflicted with rare diseases. Although rare diseases affect more than 100 million people worldwide, there is limited public awareness and insufficient research funding to develop tools to prevent and treat these diseases. This year, the theme of the day is ’€œRare Disorders Without Borders.’€ Advances in rare disease research are far more likely to succeed if teams of researchers from different countries pool resources, share findings and work together to find new solutions. There are clear parallels between these rare diseases and neglected...
Dear Research Advocate, To say that the attention paid to sequestration is extraordinary is to understate the case, but there has not been enough public outcry to force meaningful congressional action. It is highly unlikely that a rabbit will be pulled out of a hat between now and 11:59 p.m. tomorrow night. Damage will be done, and meanwhile the political playing field switches to a new month and new, related and ever-deepening crises. Possibly the only good news is that the media has ratcheted up coverage of the impact of sequestration on medical research, with stories about ’€œcuts on top of cuts on top of cuts,’€ in the words of Eric Hoffman of Children’€™s National Medical Center, one...

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Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.
Abraham Lincoln