Federal funding for S&E R&D grew by $7.2 billion from 2002 to 2016, reaching more than $31.6 billion. This represents a 29.4 percent increase during the period, or approximately 2.0 percent per year, according to an SSTI analysis of data from the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics.
This week, 23andMe shut down external apps’ access to its anonymized genomic data through its application programming interface. 23andMe was the first DNA testing company to open an API, back in 2012, and the idea at the time was to “allow authorized developers to build a broad range of new applications and tools for the 23andMe community.”
Fears that foreign governments are tapping U.S.-funded research for valuable information have reached the nation’s largest research funder, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. Last week it sent a letter to more than 10,000 research institutions, urging them to ensure that NIH grantees are properly reporting their foreign ties.
August 27,2018 - Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $8 million in funding for 12 research awards on a range of topics in both basic and use-inspired research in particle accelerator science and technology. Projects include work to develop faster methods of applying ion beams to help cure cancer, increase the power of ultrafast lasers, improve technology for industrial-scale accelerators, and research new methods of acceleration.
In FY2017, obligations for research accounted for 56 percent of all federal R&D obligations. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) accounted for 48 percent of federal research obligations, the Department of Energy (DOE) for 15 percent, the Department of Defense (DOD) for 11 percent, and NSF for 9 percent. Agency shares of total research obligations in FY2017 were similar to those in FY2016.
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has awarded $4 million in grants to 21 small businesses to support innovative technology development. Awardees in 15 states will receive Phase I or Phase II funding through NIST’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.
On July 31, OMB Director Mike Mulvaney distributed a memo outlining eight priority R&D subjects and five practices for leveraging R&D resources more effectively. The White House intends for the memo to serve as guidance in the development of budget submissions from the executive departments and agencies for FY 2020.
Facing criticism from fellow scientists, the researcher behind the world’s largest effort to edit human embryos with CRISPR is vowing to continue his efforts to develop what he calls “IVF gene therapy.” Shoukhrat Mitalipov, of Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, drew global headlines last August when he reported successfully repairing a genetic mutation in dozens of human embryos, which were later destroyed as part of the experiment.
From codebreaking to aircraft design, complex problems in a wide range of fields exist that even today's best computers cannot solve. To accelerate the development of a practical quantum computer that will one day answer currently unsolvable research questions, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $15 million over five years to the multi-institution Software-Tailored Architecture for Quantum co-design (STAQ) project.
The research is designed to help lay the groundwork for the development of nuclear fusion as a future practical energy source. The research focuses on high priority challenges in what is called “magnetic confinement” of plasma (a hot soup of ions and free electrons) on the pathway toward eventual development of a contained, self-sustaining fusion reaction.