News and Views

Today, in a world where important information is shared using only 140 characters, when someone sits down to write a letter, it tends to mean something. When that letter is signed by over 350 national organizations, the message is important. 

This past Tuesday, President Trump received a letter drafted by the American Academy of Pediatrics - with the one message that vaccines are safe. The letter was sent in response to an ongoing concern that President Trump is not only personally against vaccines,...

In part I of this series, published earlier this week, we discussed the RO1 grant - the bread and butter of academic research funding. Here, in part II, we delve into what happens to a grant after it is submitted and how select grants are awarded the funding.

After submission, a grant is assigned to the most appropriate section, or institute, within the NIH (there are 21 different institutes.) The PI requests the most appropriate placement, which is taken into consideration.

Once assigned, the grant goes through peer review - the cornerstone of the scientific process. A group of about 20 scientists working in the same field come together near Bethesda, MD, to discuss the...

Recently, doctors pulled a live, one inch cockroach from a woman's head. EW, right? Turns out, it's not entirely novel for critters to get lodged IN our bodies... They must really like the dwelling! 

Inside Science reported last week on a presentation at the American Economic Association by Emilia Simeonova with the entrancing title of Congestion Pricing and Children’s Health. New York City ranks 39th in the world, after our fellow cities of Los Angeles (10th) and San Francisco (31st) regarding traffic congestion, at least based on travel times.

Asthma the world’s most common disease for children is not completely understood. As the World Health Organization...

Americans don't agree on much these days. But one thing upon which we do agree is that something is deeply broken in our society.

Consider the right track/wrong track poll, as aggregated by RealClearPolitics. This is perhaps the simplest gauge of how Americans feel about their country. The numbers aren't just negative; they are overwhelmingly and embarrassingly negative. And it's been that way for years. Americans, internationally renowned for being an optimistic people, have been uncharacteristically pessimistic for quite some time. Why?

It's difficult to escape the conclusion that our culture has changed, both dramatically and for the worse. I believe three factors...

Scientific research is not cheap. Conducting experiments requires people, reagents, technology and a lot of very expensive equipment.

The funding for science can come from two sources, private funds (from companies and foundations) or public funds, which can come from a number of different government agencies. 

In general, companies focus on specific goals, such as drug design or vaccine development, for specific diseases. Therefore, deciding which projects get funded is typically not determined by the people running the experiments in the private sector (there are exceptions to this, of course.) 

In the arena of public funding - the source of financial resources for the majority of academic science - the system works very differently. Because there are more ideas...

While many Super Bowl advertisers scored heavily from the massive U.S. television audience that kept growing as the New England Patriots staged their unprecedented comeback and thrilling overtime victory, one jilted company is steaming mad after being ejected from the annual spotlight of pricey commercials.  

That company, GNC, is crying foul over the late decision by the Fox network to reject its spot just days before Sunday night's kickoff in Houston. By being banished, the purveyor of supplements, vitamins and shelves filled with all sorts of unsavory stuff is charging the business equivalent of unsportsmanlike conduct, while at the same time threatening to sue the network, and possibly the NFL, for being denied the opportunity to have its commercial seen by 111.3 million...

A much-discussed "Science March," which germinated on the social news site Reddit and then experienced a meteoric rise on all social media in the past two weeks, now has an official date: April 22nd. While a march to support science sounds like a good idea, given the agenda, this scientist will not be attending.

I wrote previously of my concern that the Science March would be hijacked by the kind of political partisanship it should instead be concerned about – and that has indeed come true. This fear was based on not-so-subtle hints provided by its Twitter feed, such as embracing "intersectionality" (a concept taught in classes on feminism) as a core principle. To its...

Co-Authored By Pamela Paresky, Ph.D.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently advised parents to stop using and immediately discard certain homeopathic teething products for infants because they contain belladonna, a toxic chemical in amounts that cannot be verified as safe. To medical professionals, this is no surprise. Despite the fact that many natural products contain harmful ingredients, the FDA has been playing catch-up ever since these “non-medical” products began to saturate the market after the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 was passed over the protests of the medical community, and allowed sale of almost anything with...

Full Disclosure: Before five minutes ago, I was unsure what teams made it into the upcoming Super Bowl. I mean, if one of them isn’t the Eagles, then my attention span plummets to nonexistent.

But, being that “THE” game is apolitical and topical, what better way to contribute some semblance of expertise than through analysis of the ads and how they may or may not reflect the health interests and possible status of the audience? 

Given that the ads are my favorite part of the event anyway, they will be the focus.  Because they are the focus of a lot of people, the ads have become a cultural phenomenon, and so there is real investment in being entertaining. It sometimes makes or breaks companies for the year so they want to appeal even to those not captivated by...