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  • 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.

  • Is a Pandemic a Pandemic?

    Effect Measure, a spirited and popular blog written by anonymous public health scientists/practitioners, has an entertaining riff about the confusion over whether to call the swine flu outbreak a pandemic. “The argument boils down to this,” write the Effect Measure’s editors, who call themselves the Reveres (after Paul Revere, a member of the first U.S. board of health).

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