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Nonhuman primate research

Macaques used in AIDS research in a U.S. lab.

Dan Lamont/Corbis

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Every Friday, Science Careers points to articles in the Science family of publications that are relevant to careers in science and other technical fields. Some of them are accessible to anyone, but access to articles appearing in Science Translational MedicineScience Signaling, and Science may require AAAS membership (AAAS is the publisher of Science Careers) or a site license.

► Scientists using nonhuman primates in your research, take note: “[I]n response to a congressional mandate, [the National Institutes of Health (NIH)] will convene a workshop this summer to review the ethical policies and procedures surrounding work on monkeys, baboons, and related animals,” David Grimm reported on Monday. In a letter to lawmakers, NIH Director Francis Collins wrote that “his agency will convene experts in primatology, animal welfare, and ethics this summer ‘to ensure that NIH has the appropriate policies and procedures in place for conducting research with non-human primates.’”

► “After more than 20 years of holding HIV/AIDS research funding at a fixed 10% of its overall budget, [NIH] will let that level slip this year,” Jocelyn Kaiser wrote Tuesday. “The agency is holding AIDS funding flat this year at the 2015 level of $3 billion and expects to keep it there in 2017. ... As a result, because NIH’s budget rose nearly 7% last year, and NIH is requesting another bump next year, the portion going to AIDS will fall from 10% in 2015 to 9.3% this year and could drop to 9% in 2017.” One motivation may be that “[a]t many institutes, AIDS grants have been much easier to get than non-AIDS funding, suggesting that officials were struggling to find ways to spend the money,” Kaiser wrote. NIH notes, however, “that a higher success rate for AIDS doesn’t always mean the quality bar was lower; certain institutes may have spent AIDS funds for a specific topic that attracted only a few proposals that were of very high quality. Still, at some institutes, program officers have had to get creative about how to spend AIDS funding.”

► “Pressure on surgeon Paolo Macchiarini,” who “is under a cloud of controversy after colleagues and media reports questioned the ethics of [his artificial trachea] operations and the accuracy of papers he published about their success,” continues to increase “as the Karolinska Institute (KI) in Stockholm says it will try to cut ties with him before his current contract runs out in November,” Gretchen Vogel wrote on Wednesday. “On Monday, Karolinska said it had notified Macchiarini that it is considering dismissing him. … The final decision, by the KI Committee for Staff Direct Responsibility, is not expected for several weeks,” according to KI spokesperson Claes Keisu.

► “This week [the National Science Foundation] announced its intention to hand out small grants later this year to dozens of institutions to test novel ways of broadening participation in science and engineering,” Jeffrey Mervis wrote Wednesday afternoon. “Winners of the 2-year, $300,000 pilot grants will be eligible to compete next year for up to five, $12.5 million awards over 5 years.” The application solicitation from NSF Director France Cordova (author of this week’s Science Careers-produced Working Life article) “sets a 10-year goal of ‘transforming [science and engineering] so that it is fully and widely inclusive.’”

► A new book, Political Turbulence: How Social Media Shape Collective Action, describes how “our use of ... online tools leaves behind a treasure trove of digital traces that can be fruitfully employed for social scientific inquiry,” wrote Arnout van de Rijt, a sociologist at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, in the Books et al. section of this week’s issue of Science. “Scholars interested in working with these new data and techniques will find detailed examples and applications explaining how the authors obtained their data and how results may be replicated.”   

► Got data? Submit a short video to the Data Stories Contest, open for submissions 7 March to 15 April! The guidelines are broad: “Make us laugh, make us cry, make us gasp with delight at the stunning discoveries and probing insights you can bring to life with data visualization.” Contest winners will receive a yearlong membership to AAAS, including a subscription to Science.

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