Research and Development

  • Young scientists to tackle DoD’s most demanding technological challenges

    A group of twenty-five early-career scientists at research universities have received grants totaling more than $12 million for basic research to address some of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) most challenging technological hurdles. The long-term goal of the DARPA Young Faculty Award (YFA) program is to develop the next generation of scientists and engineers who will focus their careers and research on DoD and national security issues.

  • Scientists: sequestration will damage U.S. science

    The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) has once again called on Congress and the president to work together to prevent sequestration, the automatic across-the-board budget cuts that are scheduled to go into effect on 1 March.

  • Scientists warn of sequestration’s impact on basic research

    With less than a week left before sequestration is to take effect, America’s research community has repeated its call for an end to the across-the-board cuts to discretionary spending which will restrict the U.S. ability to invest in the basic scientific research. A coalition of American research and education institutions says that it is this basic research which drives innovation and produces economic growth.

  • Diatribes, rants in “Comments” section tarnish allure of science online

    More and more digital publications, including science publications, have added a “Comments” feature to their Web sites, allowing readers to post their comments on the articles they read. This democratization of commentary, however, has been accompanied by increasingly nasty back-and-forth exchanges among readers, especially on sites where the comments are not moderated. A new study shows that in the realm of online science news, this steady diet of diatribes, screeds, and rants is taking a toll on the public perception of science and technology.

  • Harvard president issues a clarion call for science

    Harvard President Drew Faust, addressingthe annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), called for members of the scientific community to “raise our voices” in an effort to prevent the U.S. Congress from becoming “an American Association for the Retreat of Science.” Urging widespread efforts to prevent U.S. cuts in funds for sustained research, Faust said: “We must secure the federal research support critical to the future of our nation and of the world.”

  • Texas drought helps in demonstrating viability of drought-tolerant corn

    There is nothing like a couple years of drought to help determine the advances being made in drought-tolerant corn, and the historic drought in Texas in 2011 and in the Corn Belt in 2012 helped Texas A&M scientists show that different types of drought-tolerant corn performed well with far lower levels of irrigation

  • Encouraging science research, study among minorities

    A study published last year, in which 83,000 grant applications from 2000 through 2006 were examined, found that African American scientists were far less likely therethan white scientists to obtain research money from the National Institute of Health (NIH); NIH is setting up a program to change that

  • Sequestration will have a devastating impact on U.S. research enterprise

    Three organizations representing more than 200 of the U.S. leading academic research institutions yesterday launched a Web site that aims to inform policymakers and the public of the impact that the upcoming budget sequester would have on federal funding for university research; the Web site highlights the importance of federally funded university research to innovation, economy, an society

  • Non-lethal cures: new antibiotic cures disease by disarming pathogens, not killing them

    A new type of antibiotic can effectively treat an antibiotic-resistant infection by disarming instead of killing the bacteria that cause it; this is good news, since new drugs are badly needed for treating infections with the bacterium Acinetobacter baumannii, a pathogen that most often strikes hospital patients and immune- compromised individuals through open wounds, breathing tubes, or catheters

  • Sequestration would result in draconian cuts in biological, medical research

    The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology says that sequestration would result in draconian cuts in biological and medical research; the National Institutes of Health (NIH) would be reduced by $2.529 billion, the National Science Foundation would lose $586 million, and the Department of Energy Office of Science would be cut by $400 million

  • U.S. risks losing out to Asia in medical research

    Medical research saves lives, suffering, and dollars — while also creating jobs and economic activity; the United States has long led the world, with hundreds of thousands of jobs and marketable discoveries generated by government research funding every year; this is now changing: strong, sustained growth in research spending in Asian nations contrasts with U.S. cuts and short-term approach, and a brain drain could result

  • President Obama honors 96 early-career scientists, engineers

    In 1996 President Bill Clinton established the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the U.S. government’s highest honor for scientists and engineers in the early stages of their independent research careers; award nominees are considered according to two criteria: their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach; last week President Obama awarded the 2012 PECASE to ninety-six scientists and engineers

  • New U.S. biodedfense R&D network launched

    On Monday, Texas A&M System dedicated a new research center which is part of a national network of centers aiming to develop strategies and products to counter bioterrorism, chemical and radiological attacks on the United States, and better strategies to deal with pandemics; the network will have facilities in Texas, Maryland, and North Carolina; the Texas dedication is the culmination of a Manhattan Project-like program for biological countermeasures, launched in 2004 by the Department of Health and Human Services; the research network aims to develop “rapid, nimble and flexible approaches” to vaccine and therapy development, and train the next generation of professionals to sustain U.S. capabilities in these areas

  • USDA releases requests for applications for the AFRI food safety challenge

    The Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture says that this year’s grants under the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative will focus on promoting and enhancing the scientific discipline of food safety, with an overall aim of protecting consumers from microbial, chemical, and physical hazards that may occur during all stages of the food chain, from production to consumption

  • Biometrics proves 1 percent of applicants to enter U.S. are unsuitable

    Chris Archer, the online content editor at IDGA (the Institute for Defense & Government Advancement), talked with James Loudermilk, Senior Level Technologist, FBI Science and Technology Branch, about biometrics and biometrics and homeland security; Loudermilk says that biometrics applications helped the FBI determine that about 1 percent of people who seek visa to visit the United States as tourists have previously done things that make them unsuitable guests; the conversation examines the application of biometrics for homeland security, issues relating to privacy and civil liberties, and what can be learned from international biometrics projects, including India’s UID scheme