AFS NEWS ROUNDUP 07/18/16 – REGULAR UPDATES ON SCIENCE FUNDING, POLICY, AND RESEARCH NEWS

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NIH funding boost from House Appropriations Committee  

Last week, the House Appropriations Committee approved its Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS) bill that includes a 3.9% increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to a total of $33.3 billion. The Senate approved its LHHS bill in June and both bills will head to their respective floors for a vote when Congress returns from recess in September.

Untitled-3-01UK scientists excluded from EU projects after Brexit vote

As we previously reported, UK scientists were strongly against Brexit with the vast majority voting to remain in the EU. Following the vote to leave, there is evidence UK scientists are already being excluded from key EU projects despite the fact the formal leave process has not yet been started and full access should be maintained in the mean time. British researchers currently receive around £1 billion ($1.3 billion) a year from EU sources.

24764034335_1e59c2a3fe_oCanadian universities to take advantage of post-Brexit fears

In related news, a Canadian thinktank has advised higher education institutes in the country to poach top UK academics by offering research incentives. They hope to take advantage of the fears and instability facing UK science after the outcome of the Brexit referendum in order to boost Canadian research.

17230322536_f3928402b0_oBenefactors donate $10 million for volcano research at University of Oregon

Gwen and Chuck Lillis, two of the University of Oregon’s (UO) most generous benefactors, have made a $10 million contribution to fund two new academics in the area of volcano research. UO and similar institutes rely on such donations to make up for uncertainties in state funding and to allow them to compete with the leading institutions. The donation will allow the volcanology department at UO to challenge to be in the best 2-3 such institutes in the world.

_MG_0274Top Italian bird-flu scientist has criminal charges dismissed

A leading Italian flu scientist and former politician, Ilaria Capua, has had criminal charges dismissed by a judge in Verona, Italy. She was accused of deliberately setting off avian influenza outbreaks that caused a human epidemic and could have faced life imprisonment if found guilty. The judge ruled that the statute of limitations on most charges had expired and, regardless this technicality, most charges had no merit anyway.

(Click on the titles for links to the original articles).

Contributed by Dr. Peter Harvey, Postdoctoral Researcher in Biological Engineering at MIT.

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