Science Policy For All

Because science policy affects everyone.

Science Policy Around the Web – July 24, 2013

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By: Jennifer Plank

photo credit: Sharon Drummond via photopin cc

photo credit: Sharon Drummond via photopin cc

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

Monsanto drops GM in Europe – Monsanto has withdrawn applications for four genetically modified crops currently being reviewed by the European Union. To date, the European Food Safety Administration has approved 8 GM crops. Anti-GM activists are thrilled with the decisions, however, advocates of GM crops maintain that the EU must keep up with changing times and accept the GM technology. (Daniel Cressey)

Vulnerable Maryland weighs threat of sea-level rise – The Maryland Commission on Climate Change estimated that the coastal sea level of Maryland will rise 1-2 feet by mid-century and 2-6 feet by the end of the century. A rise of 6 feet will leave coastal Maryland very vulnerable to major storms and flooding. Coastal property owners and community planners are faced with several options to circumvent the problems associated with rising water including raising houses and placing utility poles well above sea level. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has developed a web tool to predict the effects of rising sea levels.  (Darryl Fears)

U.S. Congress moves closer to lifting ban on transplanting organs from HIV-positive donors – The HIV Organ Policy Act was recently approved by a House committee and would allow organ transplants from HIV-positive donors. A similar law has already passed the Senate. The law would allow HIV-positive donors to provide organs for HIV-positive recipients. Backer’s of the legislation are confident it will be approved by the House by the end of the year and differences between the House and Senate versions can be fleshed out. The Obama administration has not made a statement about the legislation. (Jeffrey Mervis)

Senate panel gives NSF an 8% budget boost – The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a 7.9% ($542 million) increase to the NSF budget. Despite the generous allocation, $542 million is approximately $200 million less than the President’s proposed increase. On the other hand, the Senate’s allocation is $430 million more than the NSF budget proposed by the house. However, at this point, the 2014 is far from finalized and only time will tell how well scientific agencies, such as the NIH and NSF, will be funded. (Senah Sampong)

No link between prenatal mercury exposure and autism-like behaviors found – A recent study following 30 years of research shows there is no link between low levels of mercury consumed during pregnancy and the onset of autism. For years, doctors faced the dilemma because consuming fish provides expectant mothers with beneficial nutrients, however, the risk of autism has resulted in many avoiding fish consumption. The results from this study performed in the Republic of Seychelles demonstrate that mercury consumption is a very unlikely contributor to autism. (Science Daily)

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

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Written by sciencepolicyforall

July 24, 2013 at 4:15 pm

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