January 31, 2013

Research Roundup: What we’re reading this week

Communications Officer

In this regular feature on Breakthroughs, we highlight some of the most interesting reads in global health research from the past week.

Brazil recently registered a new test for leprosy, developed by the Infectious Disease Research Institute. The test is offering hope that cases of the disease can be found and cured before permanent disability or disfigurement develops.

Francis Collins, head of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has said that although each of the 27 institutes and centers at NIH would have to cut 5.1 percent under sequestration, the directors of each center could decide how to apportion the funding cuts.

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has released a proposed policy aimed at maximizing the benefits of life sciences research while minimizing the odds that the results of such research will be misused. The proposed policy was developed collaboratively by several federal agencies and is now open for public comment for 60 days.

Sequestration would force the State Department to cut $200 million from humanitarian assistance accounts and $400 million from global health funding, Secretary of State John Kerry wrote in a letter to Congress this week.

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) writes in a new opinion piece that sequestration “could have a profoundly destructive effect on research into important medical and scientific advances.”

The Institute of Medicine has released a new report on the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The report recommends, among other measures, that PEPFAR increase its emphasis on HIV prevention.

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