Science Policy For All

Because science policy affects everyone.

Science Policy Around the Web – April 4, 2013

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By: Jennifer Plank

photo credit: nasa hq photo via photopin cc

photo credit: nasa hq photo via photopin cc

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

NASA Curiosity Rover Gives Us a Reason to Send Humans to Mars – Last month, scientists at NASA reported that the surface of Mars contained water that could have supported human life. Additionally, the rock on the surface of Mars contain elements that support human life (sulfur, nitrogen, hydrogen, phosphorus, oxygen, and carbon). However, despite conditions that could support life, no signs of life have been identified by the Rover. There are currently a couple private companies planning Mars expeditions, but due to funding cuts, NASA will not be sponsoring any. (Adam Hogue)

Stem Cell Ruling Riles Researchers – The Italian health minister, Renato Balduzzi, recently declared that a controversial stem cell treatment can continue in 32 terminally ill patients despite the fact that the stem cells being used are not manufactured according to Italy’s safety requirements. The therapy was developed by the Stamina Foundation and has been repeatedly banned over the past 6 years. However, despite the bans, patient interest groups advocated for the treatment in terminally ill patients, and the treatment is currently approved for patients without other treatment options. Stem cell researchers are appalled because the treatment is dangerous due to lack of rigorous testing. (Alison Abbott)

Congress Limits NSF Funding for Political Science – On March 26, Congress passed a law stating that the NSF can no longer fund political science research except for projects promoting national security. The NSF funds approximately 95 percent of political science research. Some scientists fear that this new law opens the door for congressmen, rather than scientists, to determine which research projects merit funding. The amendment only applies for the 2013 fiscal year and will need to be renewed yearly. (Jeffrey Mervis)

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

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Written by sciencepolicyforall

April 4, 2013 at 3:09 pm

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