White House Takes Steps on Climate Adaptation, but Path Forward is Unclear
At the start of the Obama presidency, many climate change advocates felt that they had an opportunity to achieve meaningful government action on global warming. Although the House of Representatives passed a cap-and-trade bill in 2009, there was little White House action on this issue during President Obama's first term. Instead, mitigation of and adaptation to climate change largely took a back seat as the president pursued health-care reform. In his second inaugural address, Obama signaled a shift in focus, stating, "We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that failure to do so would betray our chil...
Source: Washington Watch - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Authors: Kevin Todd Source Type: news

Lawmakers, Scientists Divided on COMPETES
Legislation that would create a 2-year roadmap for basic research and science education is progressing through Congress, to the dismay of most of the research community. Hailed by supporters as a plan to advance innovation while cutting wasteful spending and denounced by opponents as political meddling in research, HR 1806, the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015, has embedded science in populist politics. "Legislation that is supposed to maintain the nation's leadership on science and energy research is now being reauthorized in a manner that actively undermines our ability to do just that," wrote Andr...
Source: Washington Watch - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Authors: Julie Palakovich Carr Source Type: news

The Challenge of Making Data Publicly Accessible
The push for open science has been gathering momentum since a 2013 White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) memorandum directed agencies to make the results of federally funded research, including scientific data, publicly accessible. Federal agencies have since released individual plans to guide the process of making data available to the public. Read the full article for free.       (Source: Washington Watch)
Source: Washington Watch - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Authors: Jyotsna Pandey Source Type: news

NSF: Time for Big Ideas
It is common for a federal agency to periodically review its mission and put forth new "strategic roadmaps" to guide priorities and champion new ­initiatives. This often happens at the start of a new presidential administration, in response to a congressional directive, or on the heels of a catastrophic organizational failure. This year, however, the US National Science Foundation (NSF) has employed a somewhat less common tactic--preemptively identifying and publicly announcing the priorities it intends to use to engage the new administration and to build future organizational budgets. Earlier this year, the ...
Source: Washington Watch - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Authors: Robert E. Gropp Source Type: news

President Obama's Scientific Legacy
Nearly 8 years ago, Barack Obama was sworn into office. During his inaugural address, he pledged to "restore science to its rightful place." As President Obama concludes his second term, it seems appropriate to consider whether his administration has met this ambitious--and ambiguous--goal. "President Obama has put science in the center of decisionmaking with stellar appointments--for example John Holdren, Steven Chu, Ernest Moniz--and by ensuring that science is involved at the highest levels of decisionmaking," said Thomas Lovejoy, university professor of environmental science and policy at George Ma...
Source: Washington Watch - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Authors: Julie Palakovich Carr Source Type: news

Evolution Education and State Politics
Julie Palakovich Carr A new school year is starting, and if some state legislators have their way, evolution education will be marginalized in the curriculum. In spite of multiple court rulings prohibiting the teaching of creationism in public schools, some lawmakers continue to pursue legislative measures that would challenge the teaching of evolution and other "controversial" scientific subjects. In statehouses around the country, the 2017 legislative session saw a flurry of attacks on science education. Eleven measures that would undermine evolution education were introduced in legislatures in eight states. ...
Source: Washington Watch - January 23, 2019 Category: Biology Authors: Julie Palakovich Carr Source Type: news

President Obama's Scientific Legacy
Nearly 8 years ago, Barack Obama was sworn into office. During his inaugural address, he pledged to "restore science to its rightful place." As President Obama concludes his second term, it seems appropriate to consider whether his administration has met this ambitious--and ambiguous--goal. "President Obama has put science in the center of decisionmaking with stellar appointments--for example John Holdren, Steven Chu, Ernest Moniz--and by ensuring that science is involved at the highest levels of decisionmaking," said Thomas Lovejoy, university professor of environmental science and policy at George Ma...
Source: Washington Watch - December 21, 2016 Category: Biology Source Type: news

NSF: Time for Big Ideas
It is common for a federal agency to periodically review its mission and put forth new "strategic roadmaps" to guide priorities and champion new ­initiatives. This often happens at the start of a new presidential administration, in response to a congressional directive, or on the heels of a catastrophic organizational failure. This year, however, the US National Science Foundation (NSF) has employed a somewhat less common tactic--preemptively identifying and publicly announcing the priorities it intends to use to engage the new administration and to build future organizational budgets. Earlier this year, the ...
Source: Washington Watch - December 10, 2016 Category: Biology Source Type: news

It's That Time Again: Congress Considers NSF Legislation
Beyond making appropriations to fund federal research programs, Congress is responsible for authorizing the activities and funding levels for federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF). Last renewed by the America COMPETES Act reauthorization of 2010, the agency's authorization is set to expire in 2015. In anticipation, Congress has started work on NSF reauthorization legislation. Amid a sluggish national economy and concomitant contentious political debate about federal budget priorities, some in Congress have questioned in recent years what types of research the government should fund and, periodical...
Source: Washington Watch - July 21, 2016 Category: Biology Authors: Robert E. Gropp Source Type: news

The Challenge of Making Data Publicly Accessible
The push for open science has been gathering momentum since a 2013 White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) memorandum directed agencies to make the results of federally funded research, including scientific data, publicly accessible. Federal agencies have since released individual plans to guide the process of making data available to the public. Read the full article for free.       (Source: Washington Watch)
Source: Washington Watch - July 12, 2016 Category: Biology Source Type: news

Balancing Privacy and Progress: Biobanks and Genome Sequencing
Genome sequencing coupled with medical and personal data holds enormous promise for unraveling the mysteries of the human body and advancing disease treatment. Increasingly, research projects are collecting data on large numbers of people to determine links among diseases, lifestyle, environment, and genes. The biobanks being created with these data raise questions about protecting the privacy of individuals whose DNA and medical records fuel research. Repositories of human genetic material emerged more than a decade ago in Iceland with the company deCODE genetics. The United Kingdom has created a biobank with 500,000 enr...
Source: Washington Watch - January 21, 2016 Category: Biology Authors: Eve S. McCulloch Source Type: news

Harnessing the Power of Big Data in Biological Research
From the dawn of civilization to 2003, humankind generated five exabytes [5 billion gigabytes] of data. Now we produce five exabytes every two days ... and the pace is accelerating. —Eric Schmidt, executive chairman at Google, quoted in R. Smolan and J. Erwitt, eds. 2012. The Human Face of Big Data. Against All Odds Productions. A data revolution is changing the face of science. Scientists are confronting research challenges that require the analysis of large amounts of information on topics ranging from global climate patterns to genetic blueprints. These big data challenges are often summarized in four words: ...
Source: Washington Watch - January 21, 2016 Category: Biology Authors: Eve S. McCulloch Source Type: news

Life Science Graduates Face Daunting Labor Market
In my position as CEO of a firm employing over 80,000 engineers, I can testify that most were excellent engineers. But the factor that most distinguished those who advanced in the organization was the ability to think broadly and read and write clearly.(Norman Augustine, former chairman and CEO of Lockheed Martin) Biology graduate students have a dizzying array of options after completing their degree, including settling on an initial career path. Although many young biologists hope to make these decisions on the basis of personal preference, changing labor market conditions are likely to influence the decision. The empl...
Source: Washington Watch - January 21, 2016 Category: Biology Authors: Julie Palakovich Carr Source Type: news

It's That Time Again: Congress Considers NSF Legislation
Beyond making appropriations to fund federal research programs, Congress is responsible for authorizing the activities and funding levels for federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF). Last renewed by the America COMPETES Act reauthorization of 2010, the agency's authorization is set to expire in 2015. In anticipation, Congress has started work on NSF reauthorization legislation. Amid a sluggish national economy and concomitant contentious political debate about federal budget priorities, some in Congress have questioned in recent years what types of research the government should fund and, periodical...
Source: Washington Watch - January 21, 2016 Category: Biology Authors: Robert E. Gropp Source Type: news

White House Takes Steps on Climate Adaptation, but Path Forward is Unclear
At the start of the Obama presidency, many climate change advocates felt that they had an opportunity to achieve meaningful government action on global warming. Although the House of Representatives passed a cap-and-trade bill in 2009, there was little White House action on this issue during President Obama's first term. Instead, mitigation of and adaptation to climate change largely took a back seat as the president pursued health-care reform. In his second inaugural address, Obama signaled a shift in focus, stating, "We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that failure to do so would betray our chil...
Source: Washington Watch - January 21, 2016 Category: Biology Authors: Kevin Todd Source Type: news

Lawmakers, Scientists Divided on COMPETES
Legislation that would create a 2-year roadmap for basic research and science education is progressing through Congress, to the dismay of most of the research community. Hailed by supporters as a plan to advance innovation while cutting wasteful spending and denounced by opponents as political meddling in research, HR 1806, the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2015, has embedded science in populist politics. "Legislation that is supposed to maintain the nation's leadership on science and energy research is now being reauthorized in a manner that actively undermines our ability to do just that," wrote Andr...
Source: Washington Watch - January 21, 2016 Category: Biology Authors: Julie Palakovich Carr Source Type: news

It's That Time Again: Congress Considers NSF Legislation
Beyond making appropriations to fund federal research programs, Congress is responsible for authorizing the activities and funding levels for federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation... AIBS has moved to a better RSS delivery service! Unfortunately, you need to take one small step to update your subscription. This feed has moved to http://feeds.feedblitz.com/WashingtonWatch. If you would prefer to change your subscription to our e-newsletter, please visit: http://www.aibs.org/mailing-lists/aibsmlsu.html. Update your subscription now to continue to receive the latest news from AIBS! (Source: Washington Watch)
Source: Washington Watch - February 19, 2014 Category: Biology Authors: Robert E. Gropp Source Type: news

Life Science Graduates Face Daunting Labor Market
In my position as CEO of a firm employing over 80,000 engineers, I can testify that most were excellent engineers. But the factor that most distinguished those who advanced in the organization was... AIBS has moved to a better RSS delivery service! Unfortunately, you need to take one small step to update your subscription. This feed has moved to http://feeds.feedblitz.com/WashingtonWatch. If you would prefer to change your subscription to our e-newsletter, please visit: http://www.aibs.org/mailing-lists/aibsmlsu.html. Update your subscription now to continue to receive the latest news from AIBS! (Source: Washington Watch)
Source: Washington Watch - December 17, 2013 Category: Biology Authors: Julie Palakovich Carr Source Type: news

Harnessing the Power of Big Data in Biological Research
From the dawn of civilization to 2003, humankind generated five exabytes [5 billion gigabytes] of data. Now we produce five exabytes every two days ... and the pace is accelerating. —Eric... AIBS has moved to a better RSS delivery service! Unfortunately, you need to take one small step to update your subscription. This feed has moved to http://feeds.feedblitz.com/WashingtonWatch. If you would prefer to change your subscription to our e-newsletter, please visit: http://www.aibs.org/mailing-lists/aibsmlsu.html. Update your subscription now to continue to receive the latest news from AIBS! (Source: Washington Watch)
Source: Washington Watch - September 13, 2013 Category: Biology Authors: Eve S. McCulloch Source Type: news

Grand Theories: How Far Have We Come and Where Will We Go?
President Obama's call for science to be "restored to its proper place" excites science policy advocates. Science, it appears, may play an important role in informing societal... AIBS has moved to a better RSS delivery service! Unfortunately, you need to take one small step to update your subscription. This feed has moved to http://feeds.feedblitz.com/WashingtonWatch. If you would prefer to change your subscription to our e-newsletter, please visit: http://www.aibs.org/mailing-lists/aibsmlsu.html. Update your subscription now to continue to receive the latest news from AIBS! (Source: Washington Watch)
Source: Washington Watch - June 26, 2013 Category: Biology Authors: Jenna Jadin Source Type: news

Great Lakes: Sailing to the Forefront of National Water Policy?
While all eyes were on the presidential election last fall, the US Congress quickly—and rather unceremoniously—approved legislation that will shape the face of US water policy for years... AIBS has moved to a better RSS delivery service! Unfortunately, you need to take one small step to update your subscription. This feed has moved to http://feeds.feedblitz.com/WashingtonWatch. If you would prefer to change your subscription to our e-newsletter, please visit: http://www.aibs.org/mailing-lists/aibsmlsu.html. Update your subscription now to continue to receive the latest news from AIBS! (Source: Washington Watch)
Source: Washington Watch - June 26, 2013 Category: Biology Authors: Adrienne Froelich Sponberg Source Type: news

Will Congress Include Ecosystem Monitoring in Climate Legislation?
Coral bleaching, earlier leaf budding, pika range shifts—these are only a few of the documented effects of climate change on species and ecosystems. Congress is trying to pass legislation... AIBS has moved to a better RSS delivery service! Unfortunately, you need to take one small step to update your subscription. This feed has moved to http://feeds.feedblitz.com/WashingtonWatch. If you would prefer to change your subscription to our e-newsletter, please visit: http://www.aibs.org/mailing-lists/aibsmlsu.html. Update your subscription now to continue to receive the latest news from AIBS! (Source: Washington Watch)
Source: Washington Watch - June 26, 2013 Category: Biology Authors: Julie Palakovich Carr Source Type: news

A Rising Tide of Support for a National Climate Service
Climate change is a hot topic in the halls of Congress. News coverage has centered on the Waxman-Markey climate change bill, The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (HR 2454), which the... AIBS has moved to a better RSS delivery service! Unfortunately, you need to take one small step to update your subscription. This feed has moved to http://feeds.feedblitz.com/WashingtonWatch. If you would prefer to change your subscription to our e-newsletter, please visit: http://www.aibs.org/mailing-lists/aibsmlsu.html. Update your subscription now to continue to receive the latest news from AIBS! (Source: Washington Watch)
Source: Washington Watch - June 26, 2013 Category: Biology Authors: Robert E. Gropp Source Type: news

Debate over Science Funding Heats Up in Canada
Two years ago, the Canadian government launched a new strategy to improve the country's scientific competitiveness by, among other things, promoting partnerships with industry and improving... AIBS has moved to a better RSS delivery service! Unfortunately, you need to take one small step to update your subscription. This feed has moved to http://feeds.feedblitz.com/WashingtonWatch. If you would prefer to change your subscription to our e-newsletter, please visit: http://www.aibs.org/mailing-lists/aibsmlsu.html. Update your subscription now to continue to receive the latest news from AIBS! (Source: Washington Watch)
Source: Washington Watch - June 26, 2013 Category: Biology Authors: Adrienne Froelich Sponberg Source Type: news

Stem Cells: Growth and Development...in Policy
Many scientists and patient advocates cheered earlier this summer when the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released new guidelines for human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research. The guidelines... AIBS has moved to a better RSS delivery service! Unfortunately, you need to take one small step to update your subscription. This feed has moved to http://feeds.feedblitz.com/WashingtonWatch. If you would prefer to change your subscription to our e-newsletter, please visit: http://www.aibs.org/mailing-lists/aibsmlsu.html. Update your subscription now to continue to receive the latest news from AIBS! (Source: Washington Watch)
Source: Washington Watch - June 26, 2013 Category: Biology Authors: Jenna Jadin Source Type: news

Turning the Tide on Aquatic Invaders
Ports in the United States are among the busiest in the world—ships made more than 60,000 port calls here in 2008. Along with the 2.3 billion metric tons of goods moved through these ports were... AIBS has moved to a better RSS delivery service! Unfortunately, you need to take one small step to update your subscription. This feed has moved to http://feeds.feedblitz.com/WashingtonWatch. If you would prefer to change your subscription to our e-newsletter, please visit: http://www.aibs.org/mailing-lists/aibsmlsu.html. Update your subscription now to continue to receive the latest news from AIBS! (Source: Washington Watch)
Source: Washington Watch - June 26, 2013 Category: Biology Authors: Julie Palakovich Carr Source Type: news

A Research and Education Agenda for Biology?
For some time, biologists have argued that a greater federal investment in biological research and education is required to move science forward and solve urgent societal problems. Argu­ably, this... AIBS has moved to a better RSS delivery service! Unfortunately, you need to take one small step to update your subscription. This feed has moved to http://feeds.feedblitz.com/WashingtonWatch. If you would prefer to change your subscription to our e-newsletter, please visit: http://www.aibs.org/mailing-lists/aibsmlsu.html. Update your subscription now to continue to receive the latest news from AIBS! (Source: Washington Watch)
Source: Washington Watch - June 26, 2013 Category: Biology Authors: Robert E. Gropp Source Type: news

Stimulating Science: One Year After the Recovery Act
A year ago, as the US economy was on the brink of meltdown, Congress and President Obama enacted the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA; PL 111-5). The $787-billion economic... AIBS has moved to a better RSS delivery service! Unfortunately, you need to take one small step to update your subscription. This feed has moved to http://feeds.feedblitz.com/WashingtonWatch. If you would prefer to change your subscription to our e-newsletter, please visit: http://www.aibs.org/mailing-lists/aibsmlsu.html. Update your subscription now to continue to receive the latest news from AIBS! (Source: Washington Watch)
Source: Washington Watch - June 26, 2013 Category: Biology Authors: Julie Palakovich Carr Source Type: news

Science Advice in the States
In 2006 this column posed the question, "Where are all the state science advisers?" With states challenged to make more decisions about investments in research, science education, and... AIBS has moved to a better RSS delivery service! Unfortunately, you need to take one small step to update your subscription. This feed has moved to http://feeds.feedblitz.com/WashingtonWatch. If you would prefer to change your subscription to our e-newsletter, please visit: http://www.aibs.org/mailing-lists/aibsmlsu.html. Update your subscription now to continue to receive the latest news from AIBS! (Source: Washington Watch)
Source: Washington Watch - June 26, 2013 Category: Biology Authors: Julie Palakovich Carr Source Type: news

Congress Learns about 21st Century Biology
Last year, the National Research Council (NRC) issued A New Biology for the 21st Century: Ensuring the United States Leads the Coming Biology Revolution. Described by some scientists as... AIBS has moved to a better RSS delivery service! Unfortunately, you need to take one small step to update your subscription. This feed has moved to http://feeds.feedblitz.com/WashingtonWatch. If you would prefer to change your subscription to our e-newsletter, please visit: http://www.aibs.org/mailing-lists/aibsmlsu.html. Update your subscription now to continue to receive the latest news from AIBS! (Source: Washington Watch)
Source: Washington Watch - June 26, 2013 Category: Biology Authors: Robert E. Gropp Source Type: news

Major Changes in Congress May Mean Major Changes for Science Policy
This month, voters across the nation will head to the polls for the midterm elections. Regardless of the final results, the departure of several long-standing science and education advocates will... AIBS has moved to a better RSS delivery service! Unfortunately, you need to take one small step to update your subscription. This feed has moved to http://feeds.feedblitz.com/WashingtonWatch. If you would prefer to change your subscription to our e-newsletter, please visit: http://www.aibs.org/mailing-lists/aibsmlsu.html. Update your subscription now to continue to receive the latest news from AIBS! (Source: Washington Watch)
Source: Washington Watch - June 26, 2013 Category: Biology Authors: Julie Palakovich Carr Source Type: news

New Congress, Old Climate Rhetoric?
Last month, members of the 112th Congress were sworn into office, making the composition of the new Congress very different from that of the 111th. Although the election is over, it remains unclear... AIBS has moved to a better RSS delivery service! Unfortunately, you need to take one small step to update your subscription. This feed has moved to http://feeds.feedblitz.com/WashingtonWatch. If you would prefer to change your subscription to our e-newsletter, please visit: http://www.aibs.org/mailing-lists/aibsmlsu.html. Update your subscription now to continue to receive the latest news from AIBS! (Source: Washington Watch)
Source: Washington Watch - June 26, 2013 Category: Biology Authors: Robert E. Gropp Source Type: news

Synthetic Biology Promises Risk and Reward
In May 2010, researchers at the J. Craig Venter Institute announced the creation of the world's first synthetic organism.       AIBS has moved to a better RSS delivery service! Unfortunately, you need to take one small step to update your subscription. This feed has moved to http://feeds.feedblitz.com/WashingtonWatch. If you would prefer to change your subscription to our e-newsletter, please visit: http://www.aibs.org/mailing-lists/aibsmlsu.html. Update your subscription now to continue to receive the latest news from AIBS! (Source: Washington Watch)
Source: Washington Watch - June 26, 2013 Category: Biology Authors: Julie Palakovich Carr Source Type: news

Will Lawmakers Reform Immigration Rules for STEM Graduates?
Ranjini Prithviraj is at the start of a promising career in neuroscience. She is a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), serves as an editor on the NIH Fellows Editorial... AIBS has moved to a better RSS delivery service! Unfortunately, you need to take one small step to update your subscription. This feed has moved to http://feeds.feedblitz.com/WashingtonWatch. If you would prefer to change your subscription to our e-newsletter, please visit: http://www.aibs.org/mailing-lists/aibsmlsu.html. Update your subscription now to continue to receive the latest news from AIBS! (Source: Washington Watch)
Source: Washington Watch - June 26, 2013 Category: Biology Authors: Julie Palakovich Carr Source Type: news

White House Begins to Map Course toward Bio-Based Economy
Politicians and pundits clogged the airwaves last year with rhetoric about the state of the nation's economy. Amid this noise, a few economic policy initiatives did begin to take shape. For... AIBS has moved to a better RSS delivery service! Unfortunately, you need to take one small step to update your subscription. This feed has moved to http://feeds.feedblitz.com/WashingtonWatch. If you would prefer to change your subscription to our e-newsletter, please visit: http://www.aibs.org/mailing-lists/aibsmlsu.html. Update your subscription now to continue to receive the latest news from AIBS! (Source: Washington Watch)
Source: Washington Watch - June 26, 2013 Category: Biology Authors: Robert E. Gropp Source Type: news

Data Show that Federal Investment in Research Pays Dividends
In 1990, the federal government formally launched an ambitious initiative to sequence the human genome, to identify all the genes in human DNA, and to develop the tools to store and allow access to... AIBS has moved to a better RSS delivery service! Unfortunately, you need to take one small step to update your subscription. This feed has moved to http://feeds.feedblitz.com/WashingtonWatch. If you would prefer to change your subscription to our e-newsletter, please visit: http://www.aibs.org/mailing-lists/aibsmlsu.html. Update your subscription now to continue to receive the latest news from AIBS! (Source: Washington Watch)
Source: Washington Watch - June 26, 2013 Category: Biology Authors: Julie Palakovich Carr Source Type: news

New Farm Bill Could Have Devastating Effects on Water Quality
Agricultural nonpoint-source pollution has repeatedly been cited as a leading cause of degraded water quality in water bodies ranging from tributaries to coastal estuaries. Approximately 40 percent... AIBS has moved to a better RSS delivery service! Unfortunately, you need to take one small step to update your subscription. This feed has moved to http://feeds.feedblitz.com/WashingtonWatch. If you would prefer to change your subscription to our e-newsletter, please visit: http://www.aibs.org/mailing-lists/aibsmlsu.html. Update your subscription now to continue to receive the latest news from AIBS! (Source: Washington Watch)
Source: Washington Watch - June 26, 2013 Category: Biology Authors: Adrienne Froelich Sponberg Source Type: news

Researchers Take on a New Role: Advocate for Profession, Science
Scientists pride themselves on being objective purveyors of information. For some, this may seem at odds with delving into the world of public policy, where politics and spin seemingly reign supreme.... AIBS has moved to a better RSS delivery service! Unfortunately, you need to take one small step to update your subscription. This feed has moved to http://feeds.feedblitz.com/WashingtonWatch. If you would prefer to change your subscription to our e-newsletter, please visit: http://www.aibs.org/mailing-lists/aibsmlsu.html. Update your subscription now to continue to receive the latest news from AIBS! (Source: Washington Watch)
Source: Washington Watch - June 26, 2013 Category: Biology Authors: Julie Palakovich Carr Source Type: news

Balancing Privacy and Progress: Biobanks and Genome Sequencing
Genome sequencing coupled with medical and personal data holds enormous promise for unraveling the mysteries of the human body and advancing disease treatment. Increasingly, research projects are... AIBS has moved to a better RSS delivery service! Unfortunately, you need to take one small step to update your subscription. This feed has moved to http://feeds.feedblitz.com/WashingtonWatch. If you would prefer to change your subscription to our e-newsletter, please visit: http://www.aibs.org/mailing-lists/aibsmlsu.html. Update your subscription now to continue to receive the latest news from AIBS! (Source: Washington Watch)
Source: Washington Watch - June 26, 2013 Category: Biology Authors: Eve S. McCulloch Source Type: news

Balancing Privacy and Progress: Biobanks and Genome Sequencing
Genome sequencing coupled with medical and personal data holds enormous promise for unraveling the mysteries of the human body and advancing disease treatment. Increasingly, research projects are collecting data on large numbers of people to determine links among diseases, lifestyle, environment, and genes. The biobanks being created with these data raise questions about protecting the privacy of individuals whose DNA and medical records fuel research. Repositories of human genetic material emerged more than a decade ago in Iceland with the company deCODE genetics. The United Kingdom has created a biobank with 500,000 enr...
Source: Washington Watch - May 21, 2013 Category: Biology Authors: Eve S. McCulloch Source Type: news

US Struggles to Clear Up Confusion Left in the Wake of Rapanos
For two decades, Michigan developer John Rapanos battled the US government over the extent of protection for wetlands and streams under the Clean Water Act (CWA). Now, more than two years after the Supreme Court issued its 4-1-4 split decision, Rapanos and the government have reached a settlement: Rapanos will pay a $150,000 civil fine and about $750,000 more to mitigate 54 acres of wetlands that were filled without authorization. While Rapanos may finally have some closure, confusion over CWA protections remains, leaving all three branches of the federal government struggling to provide clarity for CWA implementation and ...
Source: Washington Watch - January 23, 2013 Category: Biology Authors: Adrienne Froelich Sponberg Source Type: news

Grand Theories: How Far Have We Come and Where Will We Go?
President Obama's call for science to be "restored to its proper place" excites science policy advocates. Science, it appears, may play an important role in informing societal decisions and restarting the country's economic engines. Lawmakers heeded his call during the construction of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009: upon passage, the act included more than $17 billion for scientific research and infrastructure, intended in part to "secure America's role as a world leader in a competitive global economy...[by] renewing America's investments in basic research and development." But can...
Source: Washington Watch - January 23, 2013 Category: Biology Authors: Jenna Jadin Source Type: news

Great Lakes: Sailing to the Forefront of National Water Policy?
While all eyes were on the presidential election last fall, the US Congress quickly—and rather unceremoniously—approved legislation that will shape the face of US water policy for years to come. On 3 October, then President George Bush signed into law the Great Lakes–St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact (S.J. Res. 45). Although federal passage was swift, the compact itself was nearly a decade in the making, and it represents significant progress in how the Great Lakes are managed. In turn, the compact sets the stage for the future of water policy in the United States. Accounting for 84 percent...
Source: Washington Watch - January 23, 2013 Category: Biology Authors: Adrienne Froelich Sponberg Source Type: news

Will Congress Include Ecosystem Monitoring in Climate Legislation?
Coral bleaching, earlier leaf budding, pika range shifts—these are only a few of the documented effects of climate change on species and ecosystems. Congress is trying to pass legislation responding to climate change, yet some scientists are wondering whether policymakers understand the importance of including ecosystem monitoring in the policy response to climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and many biologists have voiced support for an ecosystem observation system to monitor climate-related changes in species' distribution and abundance, ecosystem disturbance, phenology, nutrient cy...
Source: Washington Watch - January 23, 2013 Category: Biology Authors: Julie Palakovich Carr Source Type: news

A Rising Tide of Support for a National Climate Service
Climate change is a hot topic in the halls of Congress. News coverage has centered on the Waxman-Markey climate change bill, The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (HR 2454), which the House passed by a slim margin—219 to 212—on 26 June. The House Committee on Science and Technology has also been busy, crafting legislation to create a National Climate Service.. Hot air emanating from some media talking heads might lead the casual observer to believe that Congress routinely creates new agencies; in fact, however, lawmakers rarely direct the establishment of a new federal office. Nonetheless, stakehol...
Source: Washington Watch - January 23, 2013 Category: Biology Authors: Robert E. Gropp Source Type: news

Debate over Science Funding Heats Up in Canada
Two years ago, the Canadian government launched a new strategy to improve the country's scientific competitiveness by, among other things, promoting partnerships with industry and improving scientific infrastructure. In June, the government trumpeted its success in Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada's Advantage: Progress Report 2009. But however pleased the government may be with its progress, researchers are becoming increasingly vocal in their dissent, arguing that the government's policy is missing the mark and threatening the future of the country's scientific enterprise. The progress report touts the country'...
Source: Washington Watch - January 23, 2013 Category: Biology Authors: Adrienne Froelich Sponberg Source Type: news

Stem Cells: Growth and Development...in Policy
Many scientists and patient advocates cheered earlier this summer when the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released new guidelines for human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research. The guidelines came after President Obama's March 2009 executive order lifting the restrictions on federal support for research using embryonic stem cells. Obama's directive revoked the Bush administration's restrictions and funding ban on hESC research, which had limited scientists to using only 21 approved cell lines out of about 700 in existence. The directive also ordered the NIH to issue new guidelines for hESC research, which were releas...
Source: Washington Watch - January 23, 2013 Category: Biology Authors: Jenna Jadin Source Type: news

Turning the Tide on Aquatic Invaders
Ports in the United States are among the busiest in the world—ships made more than 60,000 port calls here in 2008. Along with the 2.3 billion metric tons of goods moved through these ports were untold numbers of aquatic hitchhikers, transported in ballast water and residual sediment in ballast tanks. Ballast water, loaded aboard to improve ship stability during a voyage, transports as many as 3000 to 10,000 different species, including invasive species such as zebra mussels, green crabs, algae, and plankton, as well as disease-causing bacteria and viruses. When ships reach their destinations and release this ballast ...
Source: Washington Watch - January 23, 2013 Category: Biology Authors: Julie Palakovich Carr Source Type: news

A Research and Education Agenda for Biology?
For some time, biologists have argued that a greater federal investment in biological research and education is required to move science forward and solve urgent societal problems. Argu­ably, this call has been heard, but a response has been muted by the lack of a clear articulation of need from the scientific community. However, recent efforts from within the community suggest that biologists might be attempting to define plans that will advance science and solve real-world problems. "Plants are central to the future of scientific discovery, human well-being, and the sustainable use and preservation of the world...
Source: Washington Watch - January 23, 2013 Category: Biology Authors: Robert E. Gropp Source Type: news