Death by a Thousand Cuts

It is likely that you don’t realize what your state and our nation have lost in economic terms and research productivity as a result of recent cuts in the federal budget and budget instability brought on by a failure of Congress to pass a budget in a timely manner. Although some members of Congress strongly support increased funding for U.S. research, others argue that the time has come for the cost of basic biomedical research to be borne by industry and philanthropy. Those who make that argument either ignore, or are unaware, that this experiment has already been tried — unsuccessfully.

Nearly 80 years ago, Louisiana Senator Joseph E. Ransdell failed at his efforts to get support for research through private and industrial resources. He instead determined that a federal agency, the National Institute of Health (NIH), was essential for supporting American biomedical research. It was clear in his day, as it is now, that basic research, which is an imperative precursor to cures for disease, was considered too risky for industry, whose primary goal is to turn research findings into potential therapies. At the NIH many things have changed over the last eight decades, including the addition —> Read More Here

Powerful New Microscope Allows Scientists To View The World Like Never Before

You’ve never seen cells up-close quite like this.

Developed at Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a powerful new microscope can record the activity of living cells, molecules, and embryos in 3D and in real-time. Just check out the video above that shows a HeLa cell dividing, and prepare for your mind to be blown.

The microscope uses a technique called lattice light-sheet microscopy, which involves scanning a cell with ultra-thin sheets of light. This process allows scientists to collect high-resolution images while minimizing light damage to the cells. The research was described in a paper published online in the journal Science on Oct. 24.

“There are many cells you could look at forever in 3D,” Dr. Eric Betzig, a physicist, inventor, and engineer at the institute who developed the microscope, said in a written statement. “We know what the microscope can offer in terms of the imaging, but I think there are a lot of applications we haven’t even thought of yet.”

For instance, observing the intricacies in the way cells behave may allow scientists to better understand the causes and development of cancer and how different congenital problems develop, Betzig told The —> Read More Here

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