by Nathan Druckerfigures by Daeun Jeong As the U.S. recovers from the pandemic and shores up its environmental defenses from a rapidly changing climate, federal money is being spent like never before. Simultaneously, the exceedingly competitive global economy is driving lawmakers to thrust the American economy into the 21st century. One result of this fervor is a potentially vast increase in federal funding for science … Continue reading Competing Visions of Science Funding in Congress
by Christopher Rotafigures by Daniel Utter The COVID-19 pandemic has touched every corner of American society, including the lives of scientists. The past year has seen many researchers dramatically shift the focus of their work, as experts from across different disciplines came together to study this novel disease and develop potential therapies. The National Institutes of Health, the United States’ foremost public biomedical research agency, … Continue reading The “Covidization” of Science: Short-Term Necessity or Problematic Over-Reaction?
by Michael Foley figures by Abagail Burrus When asked to describe the roles of a scientist, most people probably wouldn’t list ‘applying for grants’ or ‘travel’ very highly. However, modern science relies on significant efforts from researchers to obtain much of their own funding and build their own international networks. In the UK, equipment, travel, funds for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, and other costs associated with … Continue reading Breaking Down Brexit: Potential impacts on science in the UK
by Ceejay Lee figures by Rebecca Clements The Golden Fleece Award is an award issued by the late Senator William Proxmire during his tenure in the United States Congress. The purpose of this award is to spotlight the “biggest, most ridiculous or most ironic example of government spending or waste.” For the award in 1975, Proxmire called out psychologist Ronald Hutchinson’s federally funded research, which investigated … Continue reading Not So Basic Research: the unrecognized importance of fundamental scientific discoveries
by Luli Zou figures by Olivia Foster Who benefits from medical research? We would like to think that everyone, regardless of background, has access to new discoveries and therapies. In reality, much of our knowledge about disease and treatment originates from research that does not reflect the diversity of all individuals with the disease. This imbalance stems from a variety of factors, including the same … Continue reading Expanding Scientific Research to “All of Us”
What is the hardest thing you think scientists need to do in a lab? Organic chemistry may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but multi-step organic syntheses are easily ranked a top challenge, even among experienced chemists. Nevertheless, computer scientists surprised us again with artificial intelligence (AI) which, despite having less chemistry experience than the average high-schooler, could prescribe recipes with success. … Continue reading AI advises chemists on how to make complex molecules
Thierry Work and a team of wildlife disease researchers are manufacturing reptile skin in the hopes of saving endangered turtles. A virus, ChHV5, has been infecting endangered green sea turtles, causing tumors to grown on the their skin and inside their bodies. The infection eventually weakens the immune system, and leads to death. Studying this virus proved incredibly difficult. Traditional methods of growing viruses to study ChHV5 in the lab … Continue reading Scientists Grow Turtle Skin to Study New Virus