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Oct 16, 2013

Government Shutdown Stymies U.S. Research Efforts

  • New Rochelle, NY, October 16, 2013—Over 73% of U.S. scientists responding to a Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN) poll say that the current government shutdown is impacting their ability to carry out their research projects.

    According to the GEN survey question, “Has the government shutdown affected your research projects?,” 39.7% replied significantly; 21.8% said moderately; 12% responded slightly; and 26.5% were not affected at all.

    The results of the GEN survey echo the thoughts of officials at the American Society for Cell Biology, the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, and the University of California, San Diego. Their consensus was that American political shortsightedness has huge ramifications for the life science community right now and will continue to do so for the future. (You can read the story here.)

    “Not only do these kinds of government actions hurt U.S. competitiveness on the global biotechnology stage but, more importantly, it hinders scientists’ abilities to come up with life-saving drugs and effective therapies for a host of serious diseases,” says John Sterling, editor in chief of GEN.

Be sure to take the GEN Poll

Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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