Fundamental knowledge of biology is what drives the pharmaceutical industry, James Sabry, Vice President of Partnering at Genentech and an ASCB Council member, told a Biomedical Research Caucus briefing on Capitol Hill Wednesday. And yet the kind of primary research that yields new insights into fundamental biological mechanisms is government-funded through agencies like the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Sabry said. "We can't get a grant from the NIH at Genentech. The money doesn't come to us directly. What comes to us is basic knowledge. Without that, our industry would come to a grinding halt in the United States."

Immigration laws could be changed substantially for the first time since 1986, says CNN reporting Senate passage by a 68 to 32 vote.

For foreigners working legally in the country, the bill addresses hiring and an entry-exit system according to the Huffington Post.

The New York Times reports that this bill provides a 13-year citizenship plan for the 11 million unauthorized immigrants currently living in the US.

The bill would also double US Border Patrol on the Mexican border says the Washington Post.

For details on the bill, click here.

To read the ASCB position paper on immigration reform, click here

Two days after touring the main Bethesda campus of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) took to the Senate floor June 19 to speak about what he'd seen at NIHand what he feared for American biomedical research as sequestration-related cuts tear through the agency's budget. The Senate Majority Leader told his colleagues about talking with a 7-year-old patient at the NIH Clinical Center. "The little girl I met there – think of the work that is not going to be done with little girls and little boys like her because, this year alone, $1.5 billion is cut from their program," Reid said.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013 08:49

Too Many Centrosomes Cause Microcephaly

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Tiny and seemingly simple organelles can cause big problems for an organism, if they get out of control. The centrosome, composed of just two barrel-shaped centrioles and a mass of proteins in human cells, forms the microtubule organizing center that regulates cell division (cytokinesis). During cell division, two centrosomes at opposite poles of the cell work together to position the mitotic spindle. An increase in the number of centrosomes is "a hallmark of human tumors," according to Véronique Marthiens and Renata Basto at the Curie Institute in Paris who report in Nature Cell Biology on their surprising results in mice after adding extra centrosomes in the cells of the developing central nervous system (CNS).