Science  23 May 2008:
Vol. 320, Issue 5879, pp. 999

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  1. Paying for Medical School

    An Ohio medical school hopes to encourage budding physician-scientists to stick with research by paying for a big chunk of their education. The Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, which opened in 2004, accepts 32 students a year into a 5-year program—one more than the norm—specializing in clinical research. Last week, it announced that tuition, worth $43,500 a year, will be free. Current students will get back 50% of what they have already paid. “We really wanted to remove debt as a potential obstacle to pursuing careers in academic medicine,” says spokesperson Raquel Santiago. The scholarships, which are meant to put students on a par with their peers in graduate school, will be financed by endowment funds and clinical income.

  2. Help for Mystery Illnesses

    The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) has begun a new service for patients with undiagnosed diseases. Some two dozen specialists at its renowned clinical center in Bethesda, Maryland, will be part of a team that will tackle such baffling cases. These patients often “hit a brick wall,” says William Gahl, clinical director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, who will direct the effort. Advances in genetics have led to “more and more … manifestations of new diseases,” said NIH Director Elias Zerhouni in announcing the initiative this week. The new program expects to treat up to 100 patients a year. For more information, call 1-866-444-8806.

  3. A Larger STEM Profile

    The U.S. Congress is being asked to elevate the status of science and math education, coordinate $3 billion in current federal programs, and prod states to adopt common K-12 science and math standards. Legislation introduced this week by Representative Michael Honda (D-CA) would create a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Committee within the White House and an Office of STEM Education at the Department of Education. The bill also requires federal STEM programs to share results. “Having a dedicated office for STEM in the White House should raise its visibility,” says Jodi Peterson of the National Science Teachers Association in Arlington, Virginia. A parallel Senate measure was introduced by Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama (IL).