By: Jennifer Plank
Our weekly linkpost, bringing you interesting and informative links on science policy issues buzzing about the internet.
As Dengue Fever Sweeps India, A Slow Response Stirs Experts’ Fears – While the Indian government will not acknowledge the magnitude of the Dengue Fever epidemic in their country, the virus spread by mosquitoes is affecting hundreds of millions of people throughout the world. In New Delhi, India’s capital, hospitals are overcrowded with patients affected with the disease. Interestingly, experts estimate that millions of people have been sickened with Dengue in 2012 while officials for the Indian government estimate that only approximately 30,000 individuals have been affected thus far in 2012. This underestimation results in insufficient policies to reduce spreading of the disease and delays in developing vaccines to prevent Dengue infection. (Gardiner Harris)
Warmer Still: Extreme Climate Predictions Appear Most Accurate – While most scientists agree that the temperature on earth is increasing, the extent of the increase has remained a point of contention. A new study from the National Center for Atmospheric Research suggests that the more extreme predictions may actually be true resulting in temperature increase of 8 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100. Such a temperature increase will cause higher seas, disappearing coastlines, droughts, and floods (Brian Vastag). To try to circumvent these catastrophic events, some initiatives are underway in an attempt to reduce global climate change. Some states, such as California and Michigan are beginning to take measures to reduce global climate change. Additionally, a village on the coast of British Columbia dumped 100 tons of iron sulfate into the ocean in what some are calling a “rogue climate change experiment” to cause a bloom of plankton to capture greenhouse gases.
NIH’s New Translational Chief on How to Solve Pharma’s Woes – Last December, Congress approved the $575 million National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) which has been criticized due to fear that funding for NCATS will reduce the funds available for basic biomedical research. Dr. Christopher Austin, a developmental neurogeneticist with experience in the private sector, became the director of NCATS in September. Recently, Dr. Austin sat down with ScienceInsider to provide insight to the mission of NCATS and respond to recent criticism. (Jocelyn Kaiser)
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