Breaking news and analysis from the world of science policy

  • Ousted Italian Space Agency Head in Race for E.U. Parliament

    Italian space scientist Giovanni Bignami, who in 2008 was forced out as head of the Italian Space Agency (ASI), is running as a Democratic candidate in the European Union parliamentary elections to be held 6-7 June. Contesting from the country's northwest constituency, the largest of Italy's five electoral districts, Bignami hopes to win one of 72 seats available to Italian representatives.

  • Victoria and California Form Stem Cell Alliance

    (Note: This story was revised at 9.30 pm U.S. EDT on 21 May to correct some inaccuracies.)

    Scientific partnerships between countries don't always have to involve national governments; state governments can do it too. Take the example of California, U.S., and Victoria, Australia, which are pooling money to fund stem cell research.

  • The Odds of Winning NIH Stimulus Money

    The feeding frenzy that began when scientists went after $10.4 billion in stimulus money at the National Institutes of Health seems to have given way to more normal grant-seeking behavior. NIH's latest stimulus competition for Grand Opportunities (GO) grants has attracted more than 2400 letters of intent, NIH acting Director Raynard Kington said today at a hearing of a Senate spending panel. He expects 2000 follow-up applications by the late May deadline.

  • White House Not Ready to Nominate NASA Administrator

    Last weekend, several media outlets reported that the White House was on the verge of nominating former astronaut Charles Bolden Jr. as the administrator of NASA. The only step along the way was supposed to be a meeting between the 62-year-old Bolden and President Barack Obama. The meeting did take place on Tuesday, but a nomination seems unlikely this week.

  • Some Elderly Immune to Swine Flu?

    One of the most baffling features of the swine flu outbreak is that, unlike seasonal influenza, severe disease largely does not occur in the elderly. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) plans to release a detailed report that says some older people have antibodies that react to the novel H1N1 virus behind the swine flu outbreak.

  • When Will That Flu Vaccine Be Ready?

    Despite recent news report to the contrary, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) assures ScienceInsider that efforts to make a vaccine against the virus causing the swine flu outbreak have not met unexpected delays.

  • More Budget Pain for the University of California

    Yesterday, California voters soundly defeated five ballot measures intended to help right the state's wobbly finances. The vote is a rebuke to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and state legislators, who in February cobbled together a mix of caps on state spending, extensions on temporary tax hikes, earmarks to offset cuts to education, and other measures in an attempt to close the state's projected $21 billion budget deficit.

  • NIH's New Drug Pipeline for Neglected Diseases

    The National Institutes of Health, a bastion of basic research, is making a foray into developing drugs. NIH leaders today announced a $120 million, 5-year plan to set up a drug development service center at the agency. The center's chemists and toxicologists will modify promising compounds until they're ready to be tested in people. The focus will be on rare and neglected diseases.

  • Keeping Government Clean

    Nineteen professional societies and labor organizations launched a national campaign today to protect the white-collar work force against political interference. The coalition, called Professionals for the Public Interest, held a press conference this morning to unveil a Web site and promote an essay contest intended to highlight egregious examples of such interference—and how they were thwarted.

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