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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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Science Hero Specter Talks
18 February 2009 4:45 pm
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA—Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), fresh off earning the distinction of being one of just three Republicans to vote for the Obama Administration’s economic stimulus plan and savoring a successful effort to keep $10 billion for the National Institutes of Health in the bill, is making the rounds of his home state this week. Yesterday and today, he held two town halls, taking questions this morning from a mostly friendly audience of AARP members. Choosing to endorse the stimulus package was “very tough,” he said, leaving the stage to wander among the audience and forcing the cameras to follow.
The House had allocated just $3.5 billion for NIH, so Specter's move was a masterstroke for biomedical research lobbyists. Did he insist that the NIH money stay in the bill in exchange for his vote? Absolutely not, he said. When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid proposed such a trade, he told the audience, “I said, ‘No deal, Harry.’ ” As for worries that NIH, with a new influx of funds to spend quickly if the bill becomes law, will suffer through another boom-and-bust cycle like it’s in now, Specter didn’t appear too worried. “It all depends whether I become chairman” of the appropriations subcommittee, which allocates funding and which he’s in line to lead, he said seriously, emphasizing his many years of support for NIH. “You have to have activists who are willing to fight.”