Science Progress | Where science, technology, and progressive policy meet

INVESTING IN INNOVATION

Investing in Innovation Pays Off

Science and technology are what move our economy forward. Two new studies show the pay off from federal investments in life science innovation is off the charts.

LIFE SCIENCES

Thrown Back to the 90’s

The misguided human embryonic stem cell research ruling by a U.S. court would discontinue amazing gains made over the past 12 years in regenerative medicine.

LIFE SCIENCES

Drug Regulation in all the Wrong Places

The FDA’s myopic focus on early-stage testing and lack of emphasis on phase four human clinical trials has led to many safety-related drug recalls in recent years, meriting a reexamination of our regulatory system.

LIFE SCIENCES

One Small Step for Embryonic Stem Cells

The Food and Drug Administration approves the first clinical trial for embryonic stem cell treatment in patients with recent spinal cord injuries—creating a much needed regulatory pathway.

REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH

Continuing Medical Education

With a bold investment of federal resources into clinician education during their academic training years and throughout their careers, we can improve reproductive health care.

AP Tells the Story of a Health IT Success

Some discussions of the benefits of electronic health records can sound abstract and stats-based. Only 13 percent of physicians currently use even a basic EHR; 1.5 percent of hospitals responding to a recent survey published in the New England of [...]

Comparative Effectiveness in the Recovery Package

The stimulus package President Obama will sign into law today contains $1.1 billion for comparative effectiveness research. The money will support work to determine what treatments are effective for various conditions and which are boondoggles that unnecessarily increase healthcare costs. [...]

FDA Embraces Personalized Medicine

Food and Drug Administration Acting Director Frank Torti announced Monday in a podcast the creation of a new position in the Office of Chief Scientist: the Senior Genomics Advisor. Dr. Liz Mansfield, a scientist who has worked on scientific policy [...]

HEALTH IT

Web of Care

A physician and ethicist observes that electronic medical records can act as public documents in the context of the local medical community where one’s local reputation as a clinician is forged. With them, all care is now witnessed, open to local peer review: others can read what I write and assess its content, clinical judgment, and quality.

FINANCING SCIENCE

The Federal Role in Catalyzing Innovation

As the new Obama administration develops its innovation, economic development, and workforce policies, it should look to build and sustain regional and networked efforts, rather than only crafting broad national policies.

NEUROSCIENCE

Deciphering Today’s Signature War Injury

Traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder are major clinical challenges for doctors treating soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Although very different in nature, the symptoms of the two conditions overlap, making diagnosis and treatment difficult.

WEISS'S NOTEBOOK

The Revolution Will Be Personalized

It will be an uphill battle to justify some of the upfront costs of the personalized medicine revolution, given the technical, political, and educational hurdles that stand between where we are and where we want to get: to a place with better care that costs less.

Traumatic Brain Injury and Helmet Design

Soldier adjusting another's helmetAccording to Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, from 10 to 20 percent of Iraq war vets, or between 150,000 and 300,000 soldiers, have suffered a traumatic brain injury. Developing better ways to diagnose and treat TBI is important, but preventing it in the first place would be even better. Recent research from scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory investigates the mechanics of how blasts affect the brain and may provide an answer.

BIOETHICS

The End of Impairment?

Drugs that improve attention or prevent fatigue raise ethical questions in many workplace settings. But what about hospitals, where med students can supply themselves with the pills that let them work harder?

A Good Week for Vaccine News

Nurse administers vaccineGood news this week from the Centers for Disease Control: the vast majority of children in the United States have received nearly all the recommended vaccines. CDC’s new report indicates that immunization rates are “at or near record levels.” The survey data landed just after a new study reinforcing the fact that the measles vaccine has no connection to autism.

Vaccine Exemptions Drive Measles Rates to 12-Year High

Nurse administering vaccineYesterday, the CDC announced that more cases of measles have been reported in the Unites States thus far this year than in any year since 1996. Public health research demonstrates the immense benefits of vaccination, and armed with the best information, public health experts, doctors, and parents can help drive measles rates where they belong: down to zero.

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