Capitol Connection

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  • December 14, 2015

    The use of biotechnology to grow food and manufacture products is rapidly expanding, fueled by recent advances in gene sequencing and editing. But federal regulations and support have not kept pace. What rules should govern how biotech products move from the lab to the marketplace? How can the United States remain competitive? »

  • September 28, 2015

    Spurred by a 2013 White House memo, federal science agencies are requiring researchers to make more and more of their data publicly available. The scientific value of these data sets remains uncertain, however. Are there discoveries sitting out in the open, waiting for someone with the right set of analysis tools to dig them out? »

  • August 4, 2015

    There once was an independent bicameral agency of the U.S. Congress that supplied expert analysis of legislation affecting, and affected by, science and technology. This think tank was known as the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA). It responded to requests by committees, not individual members of Congress, and its 12-person board comprised of six from each house, spread across the ideological spectrum (Hatch to Kennedy), and operated in a most nonpartisan way. »

  • May 4, 2015
    As a child, U.S. Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) lost her sister Virginia to pneumonia. Deeply affected by this loss, she chose to pursue degrees in microbiology and public health. Since 1999, Slaughter has put her knowledge in these fields to work in efforts to pass legislation designed to curb a frightening increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria. With public sentiment shifting on this topic, does she finally have a shot?
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  • April 17, 2015

    How much of your freedom to communicate do you give up when you take a scientific job with the federal government? Do you need your employer’s permission to tweet? What about to speak with the press or post on Facebook? »