Would an experiment testing rat-pup massages ever survive this political climate? Would it be admonished as waste by deficit hawks in Congress?
"Researchers massaging rats sounds strange, but oddball science saves lives," said Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.), who is participating in the awards ceremony. "In this instance, premature babies got a healthier start. If Congress abandons research funding, we could miss the next unexpected breakthrough."
The American Academy for Arts & Science released a report this week showing that the United States "has slipped to tenth place" among economically advanced nations in overall research and development investment as a percentage of GDP. For science advocates, it was another sobering cause for alarm. Young researchers, they argue, are leaving the field or country. Projects that could yield tremendous biomedical breakthroughs aren't getting off the ground.
The Minnesota Vikings placed Adrian Peterson on the Exempt/Commissioner's Permission list, requiring the running back to abstain from team activities during his child-abuse case, the team announced Wednesday morning. The NFL Players Association also issued a statement Wednesday morning that read: "Adrian Peterson made a decision to take a voluntary leave with pay to take care of his personal and legal issues. The NFLPA and NFL worked with Adrian and the Minnesota Vikings to resolve this unique situation. We support this decision and hope the best for him and his family." read more
Imagine a job where about half of all the work is being done by people who are in training. That's, in fact, what happens in the world of biological and medical research. In the United States, more than 40,000 temporary employees known as postdoctoral research fellows are doing science at a bargain price. And most postdocs are being trained for jobs that don't actually exist. American science couldn't survive without this shadow labor force of some 40,000 postdocs. But only about 15 percent will get tenure-track jobs. The situation hasn't gotten better. It's worse. Support for biomedical research has declined by more than 20 percent in real dollars over the past decade. And even in good times, postdocs had a raw deal. read more
NFL running back Adrian Peterson, already facing felony charges in Texas for child abuse, was accused in a previous incident involving another son who was four years old, KHOU-TV in Houston has reported. They are allegations the Minnesota Vikings running back's lawyer says were unfounded and more than a year old. KHOU cited text messages that reportedly include a photo of the son with an apparent head wound covered by bandages. read more
Just two or three experiences with psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, was enough to get 80% of long-term smokers to kick the habit, according to a new study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. The most effective antismoking drug on the market right now, varenicline, has a success rate of 35% at 6 months, Bloomberg reports. Don't rush off to swap your cigarettes for psychedelics quite yet -- the psilocybin treatment was paired with a cognitive behavioral therapy program, and researchers are still figuring out exactly why so many participants were finally able to quit.