ScienceInsider

Breaking news and analysis from the world of science policy

  • And the £75,000 winner is....

    Many groups, even government agencies such as NASA, have begun to use prizes and competitions to push research in a more goal-oriented direction. The latest contest, just launched by the Financial Times, HP and the Forum for the Future, seeks innovative solutions to climate change and will award £75,000 for the best one. Yet the solution must be more than a great idea.

  • Society asks NIH to act now to lessen biomed scientist glut

    The authors of a new report urging changes in training the U.S. biomedical workforce say they were motivated by a desire for “less talk, more action.” But their prescription for how the National Institutes of Health (NIH) should deal with a glut of young scientists demonstrates why the problem has been so hard to solve.

    Report after report in recent years has decried the surfeit of young biomedical scientists stuck in seemingly endless years of training and chasing too few academic research positions. In hope of finding consensus, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) in Rockville, Maryland, combed through 267 recommendations in nine of these reports from a variety of groups that include the National Academy of Sciences and a group of postdocs. ASBMB pulled out eight suggestions common to most of the reports and presented them today in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences.

    A consensus already exists around many of those recommendations: NIH needs more stable funding and a larger budget, and researchers should face fewer administrative burdens. But provisions aimed specifically at young scientists are more problematic.

  • Society asks NIH to act now to lessen biomed scientist glut

    The authors of a new report urging changes in training the U.S. biomedical workforce say they were motivated by a desire for “less talk, more action.” But their prescription for how the National Institutes of Health (NIH) should deal with a glut of young scientists demonstrates why the problem has been so hard to solve.

    Report after report in recent years has decried the surfeit of young biomedical scientists stuck in seemingly endless years of training and chasing too few academic research positions. In hope of finding consensus, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) in Rockville, Maryland, combed through 267 recommendations in nine of these reports from a variety of groups that include the National Academy of Sciences and a group of postdocs. ASBMB pulled out eight suggestions common to most of the reports and presented them today in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences.

    A consensus already exists around many of those recommendations: NIH needs more stable funding and a larger budget, and researchers should face fewer administrative burdens. But provisions aimed specifically at young scientists are more problematic.

  • Has biomedical research on chimpanzees come to an end?

    All invasive research projects on chimpanzees must legally come to an end next month.

    All invasive research projects on chimpanzees must legally come to an end next month.

    Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor/AP images

    Zero. That’s the number of labs that have applied for a permit to conduct invasive research on chimpanzees in the United States, as required by a new U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) rule. The number suggests that all biomedical research on chimps has stopped—or is about to stop—and it’s unclear whether the work will ever start up again.

    “This is the beginning of the end of invasive chimpanzee research,” says Stephen Ross, the director of the Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, Illinois, who pushed for the FWS rule. “Scientists have seen the writing on the wall.”

    Biomedical research on chimpanzees has been waning since 2013, when the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that it would phase out most government-funded chimp research and retire the majority of its research chimps to sanctuaries. The most recent blow came in June, when FWS stated that all U.S. chimpanzees—including the more than 700 chimps used in research—would be classified as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Any labs that wished to continue invasive work on these animals would need to apply for an ESA permit, and permits would only be allowed for work that enhances the survival of the species and benefits chimpanzees in the wild.

  • Privacy: Congratulations, aren't you clever?

    Congratulations! You successfully decoded the encrypted URL on Science’s cover (or, um, took a shortcut by following a link someone sent you). Below you’ll find a key to the data we embedded in the cover image, which include privacy-related publications and events—and potentially private details about an individual’s health, movements, and behavior.

  • The sound of Proto-Indo-European

    The following parable, called "The King and the God," is based on an ancient Sanskrit hymn and is translated and recorded in Proto-Indo-European by linguist Andrew Byrd of the University of Kentucky.

    H3rḗḱs dei̯u̯ós-kwe

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