Capitol Connection

Subscribe to Capitol Connection

Get updates and share your views on recent developments in science and technology policy.

  • April 11, 2014

    When researchers sequenced the first human genome over ten years ago, the price tag was nearly $3 billion. The cost has gone down sharply to about $10,000 per genome. The research community has set a new benchmark to sequence an entire genome for $1,000, which could allow physicians to routinely use a patient’s genome to inform health care, similar to the way MRIs are used to diagnose conditions. The technological feat is only one part of the challenge. Physicians also will need better approaches to interpret genome data and make recommendations for treatment. »

  • April 8, 2014

    San Francisco continues to live up to its progressive standards—last month the city moved to ban the sale of single-use plastic water bottles. Starting this October, city funds will no longer be used to buy these bottles. Further restrictions on using water bottles on public city grounds, such as for food trucks and events held outdoors, will be phased in starting in 2016. The legislation states that the city will install water fountains and filling stations in public places to encourage residents to continue drinking water. »

  • April 7, 2014

    Recently, The New York Times published an interesting article about the increasingly large role that billionaires are playing in paying for scientific research. What are the benefits and drawbacks of this increased privatization of science? »

  • March 31, 2014

    Industries relying heavily on technology and knowledge accounted for more than a quarter of world’s gross domestic product in 2012, according to the National Science Foundation’s Science and Engineering Indicators 2014 report. This finding and other trends described in the report highlight the effects of investment, education and innovation in science and technology on the global movement toward knowledge-intensive economies. »

  • March 27, 2014

    Each year, around 4,000 babies are born with inherited mitochondrial diseases in the United States. Problems can include blindness, epilepsy, movement disorders, liver failure, necrotizing brain lesions, and other serious maladies.The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now considering whether to allow mitochondria replacement to be used in humans to prevent these diseases.