The impact of the sequester: 1,000 fewer funded investigators

Jeremy Berg, president of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, analyzed R-series grants over the past few years and found that the number of funded investigators dropped by about 1,000 from FY12 to FY13, substantially more than the drop of 150 from FY11 to FY12. He writes, in part, “Given the investments these investigators and society have made in developing their scientific skills, these data provide a quantitative measure of the inefficiencies created by erratic support for biomedical research.”

When agreement isn’t enough

ASBMB’s public affairs director, Benjamin Corb, writes about why it’s so hard to secure increased research-funding appropriations, even when politicians throughout the political spectrum agree on science’s value to the nation and humanity.

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Journal News

Mary L. Chang writes about a paper in the Journal of Lipid Research that explores the effects of follistatin on brown fat — the fat that keeps babies and bears warm. Sapeckshita Agrawal writes about a Journal of Biological Chemistry paper that challenges conventional thinking about a pair of pain disorders. And ASBMB Today’s science writer, Rajendrani Mukhopadhyay, writes about a Molecular & Cellular Proteomics paper that casts a wide net to better understand the proteins involved in memory and learning.

Identification of ceramide-1-phosphate transport proteins

Last year, a multidisciplinary team reported in the journal Nature that it had identified a putative C1P transfer protein in humans. The team screened the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s human genome and identified a predicted transcript with 17 percent sequence identity with glycolipid transfer protein.

NSF funds $25 million center for X-ray bioimaging

The University of Buffalo won a prestigious science and technology center grant conferred every four years by the National Science Foundation for the establishment of innovative and interdisciplinary research centers across the country. This $25 million grant will go toward launching the Center for Biology with X-ray Laser, or BioXFEL, which will focus on developing new bioimaging techniques using the immensely powerful X-ray free electron laser technology. ASBMB Today contributor Aditi Iyengar reports.

2014 ASBMB Annual Awards

In this issue, we begin our coverage of the winners of the annual awards issued by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Check back in April for the next round of articles.

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