Senate approves $2billion boost for NIH!

HALLELUJAH! This is great news (and a great birthday gift for myself).  The senate appropriations panel has just approved a $2 billion raise for the NIH in 2016. More details on the next steps and what this means for biomedical research in Science.

Republican Senator James Inhofe confuses weather and climate #snow=noclimatechange?

Senator James Inhofe seems completely crazy in this clip confusing weather and climate change. He seems to claim that climate change doesnt exist… ’cause snowball. It turns out that a lot of ignorant people make this same mistake, or just choose to ignore science and definitions. Examples here and here.

Take Action with @UCSUSA – Tell the senate that climate #science is clear!

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Take 2 minutes to send a letter to tell the senate that climate science is clear! – via Union of Concerned Scientists. TAKE ACTION NOW!!

The Senate just voted against endorsing the basic fact that human activities contribute to climate change. Please join me in taking this action from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) urging the U.S. Senate to stop debating established climate science and start debating what to do about it. It’s important for scientists to speak out when politicians play games with research like this. Add your support today.

Learn more about the clear relationship between human activities and climate change and read our latest blog post on how policy makers are talking about climate science.

#Science Quotable: Senator Bernie Sanders #ClimateChange

Screen Shot 2015-01-22 at 7.37.58 PMThe American people need to know whether Congress is listening to the overwhelming majority of scientists when it comes to climate change.

On this issue, the scientists have been virtually unanimous in saying that climate change is real, it is caused by human activity, that it is already causing devastating problems in the United States and around the world and that it is imperative that we  transform our energy system away from fossil fuel.

Do members of Congress believe the scientists or not?

Senator Bernie Sanders (video on MSNBC)

We finally have a Surgeon General! #It’sAboutTime

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Yesterday, the senate FINALLY voted to confirm the new U.S. surgeon general, Dr. Vivek Murthy.  We have gone over one year without a surgeon general (c’mon, where are our priorities?!), and are in the midst of an international Ebola crisis.  So yea… it’s about time for this to finally happen.

Dr. Murthy has an impressive resume: an MD and an MBA currently practicing and teaching at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and teaching at Harvard Medical school. He co-founded a clinical trials company, an HIV education organization, and Doctors for America. And hasn’t even celebrated his 40th B-day yet. Bam!

Part of the hold up in the confirmation may have arisen from a tweet by Dr. Murthy several years ago, where he asserted that “guns are a health care issue.”

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Clearly, the National Rifle Association has not been too happy about that…

HOWEVER, Murthy states that his primary goal as surgeon general will be to target obesity. Good luck!!

Treating 2 patients with #Ebola cost University of Nebraska Medical Center $1 million! Who do we send the bill to?

According to the University of Nebraska’s Medical Center’s Chancellor, Dr. Jeffrey Gold, treatment of 2 patients with ebola cost over 1 million dollars (Austin Powers anyone?). Apparently it is unclear who will pay for the patients care at the specialized center.

“I urge Congress to approve funding and policies supporting full reimbursement of the cost of care for these unique cases that are not recoverable from insurance policies. These are patients that federal government directed to UNMC and Emory,” Gold said.

One month before elections… have you Asked Your Candidates if medical research is a priority? @ResearchAmerica

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Today I received a nice email from Research!America, promoting their Ask Your Candidates campaign! Is Medical Research a Priority? Below is the reminder to get involved before the elections next month. The message includes two super easy ways to participate in the campaign.

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I have asked my candidates… have you asked yours? Make medical research a priority!


Ask Your Candidates! Is Medical Progress a Priority?

With less than a month remaining before Election Day, now is the time to get involved in the Ask Your Candidates! initiative. Through this effort, voters can ask congressional candidates to share their views on accelerating medical progress in America. Every voice makes a difference as we look to find treatments and cures for deadly and disabling diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s, and other threats like Ebola.

There are two easy ways to participate:

  1. Send an email to your candidates using the pre-drafted message, or a message of your own, and by filling in your contact information and clicking “Send Message.”
  2. Create awareness about the importance of medical research by taking a selfie. Just follow these steps: 1) Personalize an AYC! sign (or create your own sign), sharing why you support medical progress; and 2) Post your signs on Facebook or Twitter, using the hashtag #AYCresearch, or send it to us at askyourcandidates@researchamerica.org. If you’d like to see examples of selfies, see the AYC! selfies Facebook album.

Care about Research? @ResearchAmerica has an easy way to urge your senators to reform research regulation!

Research!America takes all of the work out of contacting your senators! Go to Research!America and Take Action!!!!

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The Research and Development Efficiency Act (H.R. 5056) is a common-sense piece of legislation aimed at reducing unnecessary red tape that slows and adds needless costs to federally funded research. This bipartisan legislation passed the House unanimously, but the Senate has not yet considered it. The bill would require the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to establish a task force to recommend reforms aimed at modernizing and streamlining the administrative requirements surrounding federally funded research, helping researchers to optimize the use of awarded funds.

 

Don’t let H.R. 5056 die in the Senate. We need your help to build momentum for Senate passage so that the President can sign H.R. 5056 into law this year. Urge your Senators to support this important bill today for pragmatic regulation reform tomorrow!

AIBS Public Policy Report: June 16, 2014.

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The AIBS Public Policy report for June 16, 2014 has a lot of exciting stuff (including reducing administrative paperwork for researchers!!!). Snippets below with links, full report here.

Senate to Debate Spending Package, Proposes Increase for NSF

The U.S. Senate is preparing to consider a package of three appropriations bills to fund a diverse array of federal programs ranging from affordable housing to fisheries management to basic research. The minibus, as the package of bills is called, includes annual funding for the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) research programs.

House Subcommittees Express Bipartisan Support for Reducing Administrative Workload of Researchers

On 12 June 2014, the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Subcommittee on Research and Technology held a joint hearing on “Reducing the Administrative Workload for Federally Funded Research.” The hearing examined ways to reduce the administrative paperwork required for research funded by federal grants.

Report Finds STEM Careers Fared Better Than Others Through Recession, Have Recovered “Substantially”

Participate in the Biological Sciences Congressional District Visits

The Biological Sciences Congressional District Visits is a national initiative is an opportunity for biologists across the country to meet with their federal or state elected officials to showcase the people, facilities, and equipment that are required to support and conduct scientific research.

 

Science Quotable: United for Medical Research

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Reaction to Senate bill increasing funding for NIH and biomedical research from United for Medical Research:

“We applaud Senators Harkin & Moran and the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies appropriations subcommittee for proposing a $605 million increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). We appreciate the subcommittee’s effort to mitigate recent cuts.”

“Despite the difficult funding environment, we are pleased to see recognition of the critical role NIH plays as an economic engine and a driver of advances that improve patient’s lives. NIH, which fuels extraordinary advances in human health, has lost more than 20 percent of its purchasing power in recent years to inflation and indiscriminate cuts. The funding provided in this bill is an important step in the right direction. We urge Congress to approve the Senate appropriations subcommittee proposal – at a minimum – to put NIH back on a predictable and sustainable growth path.”