Science Policy For All

Because science policy affects everyone.

Science Policy Around the Web – February 21, 2013

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photo credit: El Bibliomata via photopin cc

photo credit: El Bibliomata via photopin cc

By: Jennifer Plank

Our biweekly linkpost, bringing you interesting and informative links on science policy issues buzzing about the internet.

Obama Seeking to Boost Study of Human Brain – The Obama administration is planning a project to map the activity of the human brain. To the neuroscience community, this project will be what the human genome project was to the genetics field. The project will be a collaborative effort between federal agencies, private foundations, neuroscientists, and nanoscientists. The project has the potential to uncover mechanisms of neurological disorders such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, if the new project follows in the path of the human genome project, it is poised to stimulate the economy. (John Markoff)

Did Sperm and Egg Donors Unwittingly Contribute to NIH-Approved Stem Cells? – In 2009, the National Institutes of Health developed guidelines that all human ESCs generated using NIH funding must meet. One such requirement is that cells lines generated must be obtained from surplus embryos following fertility treatments. Additionally, the couples receiving fertility treatment must be informed of the use of embryos. However, the new directive did not include obtaining permission from sperm and egg donors. For 49 of the 198 lines, the permission from the gamete donors is questionable- either the donors did not respond for consent or the status of who the egg or sperm donor was unclear. (Jocelyn Kaiser)

Should We Prohibit Genetically Engineered Babies? – Recently a group of experts faced off to debate the proposition “Prohibit Genetically Engineered Babies”. The audience was polled before and after the debate. Prior to the debate 24 percent supported prohibiting genetically engineered children, 30 percent were against and 46 percent were undecided. Following the debate, 49 percent of the audience was against prohibiting genetically engineered babies. The article link includes audio and a transcript of the debate. (NPR Staff)

Have an interesting science policy link?  Share it in the comments!

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Written by sciencepolicyforall

February 22, 2013 at 4:22 pm

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