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Stem Cell Fairy Tales and Stem Cell Fables

Injections of stem cells into the brain may not offer a great treatment for Alzheimer’s, but human embryonic stem cells may yet provide the information that scientists need to find a cure for this devastating disease.


No Bailout for Biodiversity

Despite being major engines for local economies and important sites for informal science education, section 1604 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 makes it explicitly illegal to appropriate even a dollar of bailout money to aquariums or zoos.


Snack Shelf Epidemic

The peanut product recalls continue, revealing more cracks up and down the food safety system. And people keep getting sick.


New Era for Stem Cell Research

When President Obama signs an executive order reversing Bush’s policy on Monday, it will help the United States retain and reclaim worldwide leadership in the fast-moving and promising field of regenerative medicine.


Age, Race, Religion, Sex, Disability…and DNA

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission just proposed rules to implement the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. But that still leaves several agencies to sort out how to protect consumers from insurance discrimination.


The Big Business of Nano Litigation

A recent conference examining the legal protections corporations are taking to defend themselves in the event their products turn toxic should raise regulatory questions.


Readying the Global Flu Shot

While pandemic flu is off the media radar, public health officials are busy tracking what they call the number one infectious threat in the world—and are preparing for the worst-case scenario. Above: A scientist works at the U.S. Naval Medical Research in Jakarta, Indonesia.

FDA Approves First Drug Made in a Mammal

The Food and Drug Administration gave a thumbs up today for ATryn, a blood-thinning drug produced in the milk of genetically engineered goats. As we’ve previously described, it’s the first drug made in the milk of a farm animal to [...]

Senate Stimulus Proposal Could Stifle Innovation Support

Cutting science out of the stimulus bill is like killing the goose that lays the nation’s golden eggs. How else is the United States going to cut healthcare costs, reduce energy dependence and ensure sustainable security except through the waves [...]


Fifty Years In Orbit

A lot has changed in five decades for the venerable committee. (UFOs are no longer on the agenda.) But our 21st-century Representatives still have some Cold War priorities.

Questions for Peanut Butter Investigators

Members of Congress and others are calling for independent investigations into the federal oversight system for food production facilities in light of new revelations about chronic problems at the Peanut Corp. of America peanut-processing plant in Blakely, Georgia. Those calls [...]


Unsavory Snacks

Part of the problem behind the recent spread of Salmonella-infected peanut paste products is a disastrously underfunded FDA.


Quiet Heroes

The United States boasts a huge corps of public-servant scientists devoted to going where the evidence takes them and who, as of Wednesday, will for the first time in years be respected by the highest officials in the land for what they do.


Speedy FDA Process Gets Observers’ Goats

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel has deemed a drug from a genetically engineered animal to be safe and effective even though the agency has not yet decided what the rules for such approvals should be.


Tackling the Challenge of Patent Reform

Scientific research and technological development have long been mainstays of American economic and military strength. Today more than ever, the global economic crisis and the prospect of a long and deep U.S. recession call for a reinvigoration of America’s scientific, engineering, and manufacturing enterprises.


Public Nano-tudes

Proponents of nanotechnology—along with federal regulators—have some serious work to do beyond public education if the field is to break through safely to commercial success.