News of the WeekLife Sciences

A New Biology to Mend Society's Woes

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Science  25 Sep 2009:
Vol. 325, Issue 5948, pp. 1609
DOI: 10.1126/science.325_1609a

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When a National Academies panel was created last year to examine where to go next in life sciences, some thought it would focus on biomedicine—or merely ask for more money. So many science advocates were pleased last week when the panel called for a multidisciplinary initiative to address four major societal problems involving food, energy, the environment, and health. The report likens these goals to sending a man to the moon and the Human Genome Project. The advice comes from a panel funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Energy to examine how to build on the explosion of biological data from DNA sequencing and other efforts.