By: Jennifer Plank
Our weekly linkpost, bringing you interesting and informative links on science policy issues buzzing about the internet.
Supreme Court upholds Maryland law, says police may take DNA samples from arrestees – On Monday, the Supreme Court decided the case King v. Maryland and ruled that police officers can collect DNA samples upon arrest just as it takes mugshots and fingerprints. The case originated in 2009 when John King was convicted of a 2003 rape after a DNA sample was obtained following an assault charge. The Supreme Court ruling will reinstate the rape charge against King. Justice Kennedy, who wrote the opinion for the majority, stated that the ruling is limited in scope- DNA can only be collected from suspects who are arrested for “serious crimes”. (Robert Barnes)
Greece’s 200% increase in HIV shows how dangerous austerity can be for public health – European health and finance officials met in March to determine how healthcare systems are doing following severe budget cuts. Evdoxia Andrianopoulou, a Greek financial ministry official, presented data showing the steep budget cuts made to the Greek healthcare system. Included in budget cuts was the reduction of the mosquito spraying program, and consequently, an increase in the number of malaria outbreaks. Additionally, the number of new HIV infections increased 200 percent due to a reduction in funds for Greece’s clean needle program. (Michael Scaturro)
NIH fact sheet lays out sequester impact – Following implementation of sequestration, the NIH has detailed how the Institutes will absorb the $1.55 billion budget cut. The cuts were applied across all institutes and programs meaning that every niche of biomedical research will feel the cuts. Briefly, the NIH will award approximately 700 fewer grants, training grant stipends will be frozen, approximately 750 fewer patients will be admitted to the clinical center, and ongoing grants will have their budgets reduced 4.7%. The intramural program will have to implement 5% budget cuts over the second half of the fiscal year. (Jocelyn Kaiser)
Have an interesting science policy link? Share it in the comments!