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Science Progress.

Last Build Date: Mon, 13 Jan 2014 16:33:57 +0000


Your Genes Not for Sale

Mon, 24 Jun 2013 19:23:46 +0000

The Supreme Court, in denying Myriad the ability to patent human genes, has reaffirmed that some discoveries are inventions worthy of private ownership and others are simply part of the laws of nature.

Turning the Page

Wed, 19 Jun 2013 17:10:46 +0000

Three ideologically diverse think tanks teamed up to conduct a joint analysis of options for reforming the national lab system to better position it to meet 21st century challenges.

Fulfilling the Promise of Concentrating Solar Power

Mon, 10 Jun 2013 19:12:43 +0000

Concentrating solar power is a promising clean electricity source ripe for development in the United States. But policy and market barriers still hold it back from its full potential.

Fetal Anomalies, Undue Burdens, and 20-week Abortion Bans

Thu, 23 May 2013 18:52:31 +0000

20-week abortions bans scale back late-term abortions despite ample evidence that fetal anomalies, particularly those that are lethal, are detected between 18-24 weeks, forcing women to carry nonviable fetuses to term at their own peril.

Software Patents: Separating Rhetoric from Facts

Wed, 15 May 2013 13:35:48 +0000

Software patents are increasingly prominent in the digital economy, but a dive into the data suggests we may not yet have figured out the right balance of quantity and quality.

Getting Innovative with Regional Innovation Funding

Fri, 10 May 2013 18:56:35 +0000

Amidst the president's national "Jobs and Opportunity Tour," the Commerce Department quietly unrolled an innovative platform to support creative coordination among technology, trade, training, and economic growth in America's regions.

The U.S. Outsources Cybersecurity & Defense To Contractors That Keep Getting Hacked

Thu, 09 May 2013 13:31:02 +0000

U.S. intelligence reports ranked cyber threats as the top danger facing the country for the first time in April, but tensions have been running high about the government’s ability to protect digital assets and intelligence for years.

How the Political Crusade Against Fisker Automotive Stifles Innovation

Fri, 03 May 2013 16:16:27 +0000

Clean energy critics are using Fisker's financial woes to criticize the Department of Energy Loan Guarantee program. But Congress, under President Bush, designed the program intentionally to fund risky but forward thinking projects.

Navigating the Junk Science of Fetal Pain

Mon, 29 Apr 2013 13:00:04 +0000

Junk science has been driving the legislative debate over “fetal pain” laws, making rational, scientific policymaking about women’s health nearly obsolete.

On the Ethics of Publishing Genomes

Fri, 26 Apr 2013 12:22:33 +0000

A story that began in 1951 and continues to play out today reminds us that it’s very difficult, if not impossible, to guarantee the long-term confidentiality of genetic information.

How Smartphones Are Revolutionizing Home Care For Alzheimer’s And Autism Patients

Wed, 24 Apr 2013 15:53:04 +0000

As technological innovation empowers consumers to take greater control over their lives, creative new apps are helping home care workers better assist Americans with Alzheimer’s and autism.

The ‘Broader Impacts’ of Sequestration on Science

Wed, 24 Apr 2013 15:52:29 +0000

The budget sequestration is raising interesting questions about the purpose of science, in particular, on whether the pursuit of scientific knowledge can ever be usefully separated from the question of larger societal concerns.

Death Spiral Video: Arctic Sea Ice Minimum Volume 1979-2012

Mon, 22 Apr 2013 18:59:04 +0000

An elegant web video portrays chilling (or should we say warming?) satellite data about the declining volume of arctic sea ice. An ice free North Pole looks to be just around the corner.

Equity Crowdfunding: Boost for Innovation or Haven for Scams?

Fri, 19 Apr 2013 13:06:51 +0000

Equity crowdfunding presents great potential for some entrepreneurs to more smoothly navigate the valley of death and drive innovation, and examples from Europe suggest that effective safeguards against fraud are possible.

The ‘Scariest Search Engine On The Internet’ Has Been Around For 3 Years And Is Used For Good

Wed, 17 Apr 2013 16:37:21 +0000

Shodan is a search engine that finds unprotected devices connected to the internet. That hydroelectric dam control systems are just as vulnerable as web cams and lap tops shines a light on the risks that come along with the convenience of the internet.

President Obama Launches $100 Million Initiative To Map The Human Brain

Wed, 03 Apr 2013 14:34:21 +0000

Whether the President's BRAIN initiative will be the successor to the human genome project, only time will tell. But whatever the results of research, simply asking hard questions has always led to its own rewards.

The Dollars And Science of Fishery Management

Tue, 02 Apr 2013 20:34:38 +0000

Sound fisheries management requires sound science, and sound science costs money. With a major piece of fisheries legislation up for reauthorization, Congress is set to decide whether or not adequate funding is available to ensure America's fisheries can be enjoyed by future generations.

Science and the Public Square

Fri, 29 Mar 2013 13:52:52 +0000

Why does science so often drive irksome political debates? It could be the way science helps us better understand the boundary of what activities ought to be considered "public," and therefore an appropriate object of government regulation, and what is "private."

World’s Most Powerful Private Supercomputer Won’t Cure Cancer, But Will Find Oil Super Fast

Tue, 26 Mar 2013 16:46:07 +0000

A major oil and gas company's will spend $20 million per to run one of the world's largest super computers. Why the great expense? Finding and squeezing oil out of the ground has never been harder or more expensive.

Future Choices II

Mon, 25 Mar 2013 16:42:00 +0000

Despite the increasing popularity, sophistication, and availability of assisted reproductive technologies, the rights and responsibilities surrounding those who take part in these processes are still largely undefined.

The Government Can (Still) Read Most Of Your Emails Without A Warrant

Sat, 23 Mar 2013 16:40:16 +0000

A bipartisan bill introduced last week would reform the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and grant new privacy protections for email and other data stored on the cloud.

Bloomberg’s Supersize Soda Ban Rejected By Judge, But Backed By Science

Tue, 19 Mar 2013 13:15:04 +0000

As an increasing body of research has tied the consumption of sugary drinks to obesity, public efforts like Bloomberg’s represent one small step toward reorienting a culture where portion sizes have continued to spiral out of control.

Why You Should Care About The Increasing Amount Of Fraud In Scientific Research

Fri, 15 Mar 2013 14:10:05 +0000

The number of scientific articles retracted due to fraud has increased tenfold since 1975, and some of these fraudulent studies have done real damage to the public's trust in science.

Is There Daylight Between the Two Sides of the Energy ‘Innovation’ Versus ‘Deployment’ Debate?

Thu, 14 Mar 2013 13:41:46 +0000

It may be time for clean energy advocates to drop the "either/or" rhetoric and focus on shared priorities.

Recent Observed Global Warming Is ‘Amazing And Atypical’

Mon, 11 Mar 2013 17:18:51 +0000

New scientific study confirms ‘Hockey Stick’: the rate of warming since 1900 is 50 times greater than the rate of cooling In previous 5000 years.

Eliminate Violence Against Women and Girls? There’s An App for That

Fri, 08 Mar 2013 17:41:51 +0000

Information technology can empower individuals and communities to prevent and disrupt gender-based violence by connecting victims with needed services and support networks.

How Corporations Score Big Profits By Limiting Access To Publicly Funded Academic Research

Sun, 03 Mar 2013 20:48:22 +0000

Who profits from academic publishing? It's not the authors who do the research or academic institutions where they work—it is a small number of for-profit academic publishing firms who are lobbying hard to keep a stranglehold on their profitable roles as middlemen between academia and the public.

The Ten Principles of 3D Printing

Fri, 01 Mar 2013 17:43:32 +0000

In their new book, Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing, Lipson and Kurman lay out the 10 most important things about 3D printing that make it special—and the 10 reasons why it really could be the next big thing in American Manufacturing.

Suppressed South Carolina Climate Change Report Warns of Big Impacts

Tue, 26 Feb 2013 16:43:57 +0000

Climate change will hit South Carolina hard, says a study commissioned by the SC Department of Natural Resources. But the report was never published due to the agency’s “changing priorities.”

Keeping Good Research from Going Bad

Fri, 22 Feb 2013 22:25:12 +0000

The Obama administration has called on researchers to minimize the risks of dual-use research.

Americans Ask White House For The Right To Unlock Their Cell Phones

Thu, 21 Feb 2013 17:57:34 +0000

A White House We The People petition just passed the 100,000 signature response threshold asks the Obama administration to reverse a Library of Congress decision to prevent consumers from unlocking their cell phones without carrier permission.

The Other Aaron’s Law

Mon, 18 Feb 2013 21:15:36 +0000

A new bill to expand access to public information and the results of publicly funded research is a step toward the open access world that Aaron Swartz once envisioned.

How The Sequester’s R&D Cuts Will Hurt Science And Innovation

Thu, 14 Feb 2013 18:26:11 +0000

After President Obama’s call to attain a “level of research and development not seen since the height of the Space Race” in the State of the Union, universities are renewing their cry for a deal to avoid the automatic budget cuts known as "sequestration."

TIMELINE: U.S. Cybersecurity Policy in Context

Wed, 13 Feb 2013 21:02:30 +0000

In light of yesterday's executive order and the recent spate of cyber attacks, we take a look back at past cyber attacks, and what our government has done to fortify both the public and private sectors against hackers foreign and domestic.

Government Audit Says The FCC Failed To Fix Network Security Holes

Tue, 12 Feb 2013 13:21:17 +0000

The very agency responsible for regulating online communications was forced to resort to outside assistance to secure its networks, and still failed key tests of cyber security.

Announcement Raises Hopes About Cheaper-Than-Coal Solar Technology

Mon, 11 Feb 2013 16:50:40 +0000

V3Solar's announcement about its new super-cheap "Spin Cell" solar cones is another reason for hope that cheap-as-dirt solar may around the corner, but making early predictions about the final cost of energy technologies is an inherently tricky business.

Success of Northeast Cap-and-Trade System Shows Market-Based Climate Policy Is Well Within Reach

Fri, 08 Feb 2013 15:26:51 +0000

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative has delivered such cost-effective results that the states involved plan to reduce the carbon emissions cap by an additional 45 percent.

Cybersecurity Bill Supporters Regroup As Executive Order Looms

Thu, 07 Feb 2013 13:50:01 +0000

Amidst major cyber security breaches at the New York Times and elsewhere, a bipartisan bill would aid intelligence agencies, but come at the cost of Internet users' privacy.

Manmade Carbon Pollution Has Already Put Us On Track For 69 Feet Of Sea Level Rise

Mon, 04 Feb 2013 15:57:28 +0000

"The natural state of the Earth with present carbon dioxide levels is one with sea levels about 70 feet higher than now," says the lead author of a National Science Foundation funded study on the earth's ancient climate patterns.

Clicking Online Ads More Likely To Deliver Malware Than Surfing Porn Sites, Report Finds

Fri, 01 Feb 2013 21:38:06 +0000

Your online habits may be less dangerous than you think if they involve the less savory aspects of the web. Instead, "The dangers are often hidden in plain sight," says a new report by the Internet technology company Cisco.

Divest Over Global Warming?

Thu, 31 Jan 2013 16:48:02 +0000

A movement is growing on college campuses to divest from fossil fuel companies that contribute to climate change. A former president of several prestigious colleges and educational institutions, James L. Powell, responds to the 10 most common arguments against divestment.

Terminating the Terminator: What to do About Autonomous Weapons

Tue, 29 Jan 2013 16:41:25 +0000

With a new Defense Department directive, we move one step closer to autonomous weapon systems capable of killing without human oversight. Now is the time to decide if this is a path we want to tread.

Surpassing Outdated Law, Google Requires Warrants For Government Access To Email Content

Fri, 25 Jan 2013 16:34:38 +0000

Google revealed this week that it will require warrants for users’ email content and data stored in the cloud, imposing hurdles to government access and going considerably beyond the scope of a 1986 electronic privacy law.

Blue Pill or Red Pill?

Thu, 24 Jan 2013 17:19:43 +0000

The electronic medical record could save the clinical trial, cut health care costs, and improve the value of research.

ARPA-E is Here to Stay

Tue, 22 Jan 2013 19:44:01 +0000

The new energy research agency authorized by President Bush and implemented by Obama has similarities with past federal R&D successes, but is missing a fundamental ingredient enjoyed by past technology programs: Market pull.

Duck, Rabbit, Gas Well

Thu, 17 Jan 2013 16:22:39 +0000

The debate over fracking is like the duck-rabbit illusion: some see economic opportunity, others see environmental injustice.The question is: Who gets to write the rules – those who see ducks or those who see rabbits?

Why DDoS Attacks Are the Wrong Way to Honor Aaron Swartz

Tue, 15 Jan 2013 22:20:18 +0000

Next time online "hacktivists" want to honor Aaron Swartz, they should choose a tactic that celebrates his work to build the internet up, not try to tear the place down.

Working Toward a More Fitting Tribute to Aaron Swartz than JSTOR’s Register & Read

Mon, 14 Jan 2013 18:48:24 +0000

JSTOR announced an expansion of its limited open access program two days before Aaron Swartz’s suicide, but does the academic publishing crisis warrant a more significant response in the wake of his death?

White House Announces U.S. Government Will Not Build Death Star

Mon, 14 Jan 2013 15:56:04 +0000

A White House budget official announced Friday that the U.S. government will not build an orbital planet-destroying battle-station, but gave a shout-out to real-life space achievements.

Supreme Court Allows Assault On Stem Cell Research To Die

Fri, 11 Jan 2013 23:22:25 +0000

This week, the Supreme Court announced it would refuse to hear arguments seeking to ban federally funded research using embryonic stem cells, effectively setting the issue of limited federal funding for such research to rest.