Science  13 Oct 2006:
Vol. 314, Issue 5797, pp. 235

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  1. Show Us the Money

    1. Barbara Casassus

    PARIS—Nicolas Sarkozy, the leading conservative contender for president of France in next year's elections, has promised a research funding boost of €15 billion, or 50% more, over 5 years. But the researchers' lobby, wooed recently by other candidates (Science, 6 October, p. 39), pooh-poohs the offer. In an open letter to Sarkozy, Sauvons la Recherche President Bertrand Monthubert points out that Sarkozy's UMP party supports flat research funding and that Sarkozy's promise relies on heavy private sector support. “How can we believe you?” writes Monthubert. Most other candidates have vowed to increase research funds.

  2. Biolab Set to Open

    1. Eli Kintisch

    A biosafety level 3 laboratory that Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) calls “critical” for U.S. security is expected to open next month at the California site. The 150-m2 lab, which would develop biodetection technologies for civilian and military uses, has passed multiple safety reviews. But scientists are still holding their breath. A coalition of activist groups has argued that the facility requires additional environmental scrutiny (Science, 29 August 2003, p. 1168), and it filed a request in federal court last month to block the lab's opening. Stephan Volker, an attorney for the groups, expects that request will be denied after a 7 November hearing, as the court rejected their arguments in the larger case in 2004. LLNL won't open the lab until after the district ruling; both sides are looking ahead to the appeals court ruling, which could come at any time.

  3. Private + Public = Progress

    1. Jocelyn Kaiser

    As companies and the government pool money, the biomedical research dollars keep on flowing. A new group called The Biomarkers Consortium last week announced that nine drug companies and several industry and patient groups have agreed to contribute $5 million, and possibly more later, for studies to find and validate markers, including genetic signatures, for diseases such as cancer, depression, and diabetes. The consortium also involves the National Institutes of Health, the Foundation for the NIH, and the Food and Drug Administration. Separately, the NIH Foundation, through another public-private group, announced $26 million in industry-funded awards for whole-genome scans for six diseases including psoriasis, schizophrenia, and kidney disease.