Tangled Bank

A new Tangled Bank is up at fellow ScienceBlogger grrlscientist’s Living the Scientific Life. Time to catch up on the world of science as reported in the blogosphere over the last two weeks.

While you’re perusing the science, you might also want to wander over to Evolgen and join him and the Genetics Society of America to protest the retreat from support of biomedical research that the President’s proposed budget for FY 2007 represents. As I pointed out not long ago, the total NIH budget is flat, without even an adjustment for inflation, and the budget of the National Cancer Institute has been cut for two years in a row. The benefits of the doubling of the NIH budget that occurred between 1998 and 2003 are at risk of being eroded.

Finally, don’t forget: The Skeptics’ Circle will be appearing tomorrow.


  1. #1 Abel PharmBoy
    March 15, 2006

    Here, here on your supporting Evolvgen and the GSA protest.

    My NCI R01 that was cut 18% at the time it was awarded in 2004 is being cut another 2.67% for this non-competing renewal year despite the fact that I have to give my people at least a 4% COLA. Of course, reagent costs have also increased at least by that amount – so how do I do the project and meet the aims, much less show adequate progress for a competing renewal? Bake sale? Ads on the blog?

    Heckuva job, Georgie and Andy!

  2. #2 Orac
    March 15, 2006

    My R01 was cut 22% when awarded. I’m in the process of preparing my first noncompeting renewal, due April 1. I fear the same thing happening, even though, as you point out, I have to increase the salaries of those working for my by 4%. If I don’t find more funding by next year, salaries could well make up close to 85% or more of my budget, leaving insufficient funds to order supplies.

    I actually have a semihumorous little post that I’ve been meaning to write about a novel way to save money running a lab. I probably won’t have time to write it this week, as it will require a little bit of research, but look for it–hopefully–next week.

  3. #3 Abel PharmBoy
    March 15, 2006

    Melissa Lee Phillips had an article in the 1 Jan 2006 issue of The Scientist (registration req’d) on 15 steps to save $29,000 per year in lab, but many of her recommendations (making one’s own reagents instead of kits, reusing sterile plasticware) didn’t factor in labor costs.

    I’d look forward to a semihumorous post on this topic as I’m not feeling terribly humored right now. But, then again, at least we are fortunate enough to have sub-funded R01s to bitch about.

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