A new White House directive laying out next year’s spending priorities for federal research agencies describes a U.S. science enterprise imperiled by internal problems and foreign governments. It’s the first time this annual exercise has addressed the perceived threat to research posed by Chinese government entities. The nine-page memo also incorporates several favorite themes from recently arrived presidential science adviser Kelvin Droegemeier,…
Read More
The Justice Department said Monday it would move forward to expand the number of marijuana growers for federally authorized cannabis research. The long-awaited move comes after researchers filed court papers asking a judge to compel the Drug Enforcement Administration to process the applications to grow research pot. The DEA began accepting applications to grow marijuana for federally approved research about…
Read More
A Russian scientist recently announced his intention to use the gene-editing tool CRISPR to edit and implant human embryos—a revelation that met with international outcry similar to the condemnation of the Chinese scientist He Jiankui last year when he announced that he had created the first gene-edited babies. Jiankui’s actions — deemed unethical for several reasons – led to a call for a moratorium on editing human germline cells (sperm,…
Read More
As of the beginning of this year, researchers at the MIT Technology Review estimate 26 million people have added their DNA data to the genealogical databases of the four major Direct-To-Consumer DNA companies. Between the quest for ancestral links and genetic health insights, the DNA test business is booming. While most people only send a sample to one DNA testing company, a…
Read More
Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Jack Reed (D-RI) introduced a resolution yesterday (July 15) calling for global collaboration in developing guidelines for the use of gene editing technologies in the context of reproduction. The senators specifically pledge their support for the international commission established in May by the US National Academy of Medicine, the US National Academy of…
Read More
It matters that the first patients were identical twins. Nancy and Barbara Lowry were six years old, dark-eyed and dark-haired, with eyebrow-skimming bangs. Sometime in the spring of 1960, Nancy fell ill. Her blood counts began to fall; her pediatricians noted that she was anemic. A biopsy revealed that she had a condition called aplastic anemia, a form of bone-marrow…
Read More
One doctor says it’s becoming the “Wild West” of medicine. Private clinics are opening nationwide claiming stem cells will cure everything from arthritis to macular degeneration, autism to erectile dysfunction. The Food and Drug Administration says many of those claims are just not true. Norman Wohlken found out the hard way. His osteoarthritis makes walking painful. He read an ad for…
Read More

Bringing Cell Science Resources to the Classroom

Ashley Ziemer loved high school biology. After finishing this year’s class, taught by Tom Martinez at Glenbard East High School in Lombard, Illinois, she says wants to major in biology in college. “I just find it so amazing how everything is connected,” said Ziemer, describing what she just finished learning about cells in her junior year. “All the different parts…
Read More
Paul Allen was one of the most intellectually curious people I’ve ever known. Ever since we were kids, he seemed to be interested in just about everything. Paul was just as comfortable discussing Shakespeare and playing the guitar as he was talking about computers. As an adult, Paul continued to embrace that curiosity. It influenced every part of his life—including…
Read More