Science Policy For All

Because science policy affects everyone.

Science Policy Around the Web – January 14, 2014

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Photo credit: Oxfam International via photopin cc

Photo credit: Oxfam International via photopin cc

By: Tara Burke

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

Water risk as world warms – Initial results of the Inter-Sectoral Impact Model Intercomparison Project, a project launched by climate-impact scientists to produce a harmonized set of global-impact reports based on the same set of climate data, were published last month. The findings suggest that even modest climate change could significantly affect the living conditions of billions of people. Of all the concerns raised in the study, the scientists warn that access to water is the biggest worry. Even a slight increase of 2 oC above the present level would cause up to one-fifth of the world’s population to suffer severe water shortages. A 2 oC is almost certain to happen by the year 2100. While ambiguities and spread between individual models were large, this study can effectively conclude that even moderate warming can cause intense damage to nature as well as social and economic calamities throughout the world.   (Quirin Schiermeier)

Polio Vaccination Effort in Syria Appears to Have Some Effect – The World Health Organization reported Thursday that the recent polio outbreak in Syria, the first of its kind in 14 years, has been contained. This is a result of an emergency vaccination effort for millions of children. Officials also cautioned that polio in Syria had not be eradicated and warned that the disease may reassert itself when temperatures rise again this spring. The support of the Syrian government, despite the collapse of its public health system, as well as the opposition’s support has aided in the effort to contain the outbreak and vaccinate the children. Also, the highly publicized risks of polio have also pushed parents to get their children inoculated.  (Rick Gladstone)

 What to expect in 2014 – The journal Nature listed science news and breakthroughs to look out for in 2014 that includes promising advances in the areas of space exploration, drug discovery, DNA sequencing, neuroscience, stem-cell regeneration and other disciplines. Emerging neuroscience discoveries are hoping that the US and European brain initiatives will provide funding to further and complete research development of technologies to aid individuals with spinal-cord injuries or paralysis.  Another potential innovation of 2014 is the hope of treating HIV with ‘broadly neutralizing’ antibodies that were shown in by two research teams in 2013 to clear an HIV-related virus in monkeys. This treatment is currently being tested in human patients with HIV and results from the trial are expected in the fall. (Richard Van Noorden)

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

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Written by sciencepolicyforall

January 14, 2014 at 4:19 pm

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