By: Rebecca Cerio
Our weekly linkpost, bringing you interesting and informative links on science policy issues buzzing about the internet.
NIH Principal Investigators Are Getting Old – Daniel Lende on the Neuroanthropology blog points out the perhaps-disturbing trend in the the newest numbers on the age of NIH-funded scientific investigators (hint, it’s going up): “The distribution of money has changed, not just the age distribution of researchers, and that has serious consequences for who stays in research-intensive careers, what ideas and initiatives get supported, and what sorts of solutions actually get generated from all those research dollars.”
Gene Blues – Seth Mnookin covers at The New Yorker an interesting study investigating the number of mutations in the sperm of older vs. younger men. As men get older, the number of new mutations in their sperm cells goes up, increasing the number of mutations inherent in their offspring. This might not sound like science policy, but this is a classic example of how sociological and cultural changes can directly affect our gene pool and, thus, our health.
In Drought, Should Corn Be Food Or Fuel? – Minnesota Public Radio discusses how the drought this summer devastated the corn crop and also downstream industries such as biofuel manufacturing and the livestock industry. As quoted in the article, “Jason Hill is a professor of bioproducts and biosystems engineering at the University of Minnesota. He says while roughly half of the nation’s corn supply this year will go to producing ethanol, that ethanol will make up only between 5 and 6 percent of the nation’s fuel consumption.” Those numbers make some interesting food for thought.
Have an interesting science policy link? Share it in the comments!