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Bio & Life Sciences

How You Are Hurt by FDA Genetic Test Restrictions

These are boom times for progress in genetic testing, but restrictions limiting access are delaying benefits we could all be experiencing right now. The National Institutes of Health maintains a Genetic Testing Registry, which currently lists some 15,000 available genetic tests. Together, they can single out 2,800 genes for some 4,000 medical conditions—and that’s not factoring in the rapidly growing exome or genome sequencing tests that look at all known genes. With so many tests out there, there’s a good chance that one exists to scan for whatever diseases may run in your family. But you may not be able to get those tests. Direct consumer access has always been tricky in U.S. medicine, and the FDA’s crackdown on consumer genetic testing firm 23andMe last year has providers running scared.   More


As Government Support Tightens, Scientists Must Become Better Communicators

Nine months into federal budget sequestration, there’s no shortage of studies, articles, and speculation about how trimmed funding is having an impact on the U.S. There is far less work going into figuring out how to right the ship. One answer, painful to many scientists, is that they have to become a little better at marketing. Otherwise we will end up with less visionary science. In the life sciences, the sequestration cut 4.9 percent from the budget of the National Institutes of Health, a move that has already been felt at universities, research organizations, and medical centers around the country.   More

Bio & Life Sciences

Brain Science Could Be the Next Big Leap

Those who tuned in to President Obama's State of the Union speech in February might have missed a brief mention of a project some say will catalyze an entire new industry devoted to understanding the brain. "Today, our scientists are mapping the human brain to unlock the answers to Alzheimer’s," Obama said. "Now is the time to reach a level of research and development not seen since the height of the Space Race." This brain mapping effort is the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (or BRAIN) Initiative, proposed jointly by the President and researchers. Obama has called it one of this century's "Grand Challenges," akin to mapping the human genome, or sending a man to the moon.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Government

Where Obama and Romney Stand on Life Sciences

We have heard debates, convention speeches, and campaign events with lots of talk about jobs and foreign oil and national security. But what about where the candidates stand on another matter critical to innovation in our country and the future of healthcare: life sciences?   More