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:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 04-30-2013
Yesterday morning (April 29, 2013), President Obama addressed the National Academy of Sciences on the occasion of the academy’s 150th anniversary. While any organization has the right to celebrate 150 years of existence, this particular anniversary has been darkened by the dark cloud of sequestration and looming funding cuts to our country’s research and development programs.
During his speech, Obama promised that he was committed to investing in science, however, he hinted that the funding should come from private investment, since the sequester is expected to shave close to $1.5 Billion dollars off of the all-important NIH budget. Such cuts pose a real threat to scientific progress and Obama mentioned that
Instead of racing ahead … our scientists are left wondering if they’ll be able to start any new research projects at all, which means we could lose a year, two years, of scientific research.
Scary stuff. Are you worried about your research? How do you think sequestration will affect your research?
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 04-25-2013
Dr. Christopher Fraser and the members of his lab in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of California, Davis, want to better understand the fundamental cellular process of protein synthesis. The genomic DNA in each cell of an organism encodes the same set of genes, but gene expression is regulated so that only certain proteins are produced at appropriate times in each cell, resulting in diverse cellular functions. The control of the first step of protein synthesis is the regulation of DNA transcription into mRNA. The next step, the translation of mRNA into protein by the ribosome, is also tightly controlled in normal cells, and dysfunctional regulation is responsible for disorders such as autism, Type I diabetes, and cancer.
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 04-24-2013
The microbiome is your body’s set of microbial communities; microbial cells outnumber human cells roughly ten to one. Through studying the microbiome, scientists are learning more the relationship between these microbes and human health and disease. In looking at the effect of diet on the composition of the gut microbiome, Dr. Nanette Steinle of the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine and Dr. Emmanuel Mongodin of the University of Maryland Institute of Genome Sciences wanted to determine if the Mediterranean diet would cause changes in an individual’s microbiome. This diet was selected because it has already been associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.