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Drug-Resistant Swine Flu, NSF Porn Scandal Redux

7 July 2009 (All day)
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Here's a rundown of some of the stories we've been following on Science's policy blog, ScienceInsider:

A third case of oseltamivir-resistant swine flu, announced last week in Hong Kong, has flu experts worried that resistance to the drug is spreading. Unlike two cases reported in Denmark and Japan, the Hong Kong patient hadn't taken oseltamivir herself. That suggests she picked up a resistant strain from someone else. Meanwhile, a reporter for Science learned firsthand about China's quarantine process for swine flu.

The Czech Academy of Sciences is fighting for its future after the government proposed a budget that slashes the academy's funding in half by 2012. The plan would divert money from the basic research institutes the academy runs to more applied science efforts.

A Senate spending panel said in a recent report that the way the National Science Foundation (NSF) handled an Internet porn scandal points to "systemic work-force management problems" that have created "a hostile work environment" for its 1300 employees. The legislators said that part of the problem is NSF's use of short-term "rotators" from academia to serve as senior program managers.

John Niederhuber, director of the National Cancer Institute, fired back last week in response to a front-page article in The New York Times that harshly critiques how cancer research is funded. In a lengthy rebuttal in the 30 June issue of the NCI Cancer Bulletin, Niederhuber gave several examples of NCI's creativity--including its cancer genome project and planned physical science–oncology centers.

The Wellcome Trust is pouring nearly $50 million into bolstering research capacity in Africa. The U.K. biomedical research charity announced pan-African research partnerships involving more than 50 universities and research institutions as part of a 5-year initiative. Each consortium has a different focus, including infectious disease research and "ecosystem and population health."

For more on these stories and the latest science policy news and analysis, visit ScienceInsider.