John Weeks has long been an activist for alternative medicine—excuse me, “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) or, as it’s more commonly referred to these days, “integrative medicine.” Despite his having zero background in scientific research or the design and execution of experiments and clinical trials, for some bizarre reason in May he was appointed editor of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (JACM). It didn’t take him long at all to use his new post to launch a nasty broadside against CAM critics in general (such as yours truly) and those who criticized a…
The Cancer Moonshot. It’s a topic that I’ve been meaning to address ever since President Barack Obama announced it in his State of the Union address this year and tasked Vice President Joe Biden to head up the initiative. Biden, you’ll recall, lost his son to a brain tumor . Yet here it is, eight months later, and somehow I still haven’t gotten around to it. The goal of the initiative is to “eliminate cancer as we know it,” and to that end, with $195 million invested immediately in new cancer activities at the National Institutes of Health and $755 million proposed for FY 2017. My first…
On April 24, 2014, an exclusive group of visionaries presented to over 4,000 students at the USA Science & Engineering Festival's inaugural X-STEM Symposium sponsored by Northrop Grumman Foundation and MedImmune. The all day event included interactive presentations and workshops with some of the top scientists and engineers in the country. Geneticist and Physician Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, captivated crowds with his journey to the NIH. Watch his presentation below:  http://youtu.be/o214CyMbJ2c?list=PLFxuEWfG5k6F2dH21LFhUCD7jYcLOLm4C After being…
The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the world's foremost biomedical research center and the U.S. federal government's focal point for such research, is returning to the Festival as a major Sponsor and Exhibitor, bringing with it a bevy of high-caliber excitement in medical science that helped attract scores of visitors to last year's finale Expo. "After participating in 2010, there was really no question about our desire to return to the Festival," says Bruce Fuchs, Ph.D., Director, NIH Office of Science Education. "We got the chance last year to introduce some exciting new ways to…
Following through with President Obama's executive order issued March 9, Removing Barriers to Responsible Scientific Research Involving Human Stem Cells (link to PDF), the NIH has released a draft of guidelines revising the NIH's position on how it may fund "responsible, scientifically worthy human stem cell research, including human embryonic stem cell research." The funding only extends to human embryonic stem cells derived from embryos created in excess at fertility clinics. ScienceBlogger Nick Anthis from The Scientific Activist views the creation of these guidelines as a "significant…
Last weekend, a letter from acting NIH director Raynard S. Kington was distributed to NIH investigators and began making the rounds in the blogosphere as well. The letter detailed specific plans for the $8.2 billion of NIH funding included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus package. ScienceBloggers immediately expressed fear that a dramatic increase in funding could lead to a repeat of the 1990s "lost generation" crisis, when young scientists attracted by generous grants found themselves without career opportunities when funding failed to keep pace with demand. A lively…