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SPAG digest 08/14/13

September 3, 2013


 1) The UNC/Duke Science Policy Speaker Series Kicks off August 21st

The Intersection of Science and Politics: A View from the Front Lines of North Carolina State Government

Speaker: Dr. John Hardin, Executive Director or the North Carolina Board of Science and Technology

Food will be served starting at 5:30pm

Talk begins at 6pm

Rosenau Hall Room 133

Visit the SPAG events page for directions

 2) Now it’s easier to stay connected with SPAG members and the broader community! 
Follow SPAG on facebook and twitter .  Keep an eye out for SPAG’s participation in future twitter chats on science policy!

Visit our new website!  See the President’s greeting, look for upcoming events on our events calendar, and respond to our first forum question!  Interested in writing about previous experiences with SPAG, such as advocacy trips or outreach?  Want to write on science policy matters?  Let us know, you could be featured on our blog!

3)  SPAG Secretary featured on blog

SPAG secretary Stephani Page wrote a piece When science becomes personal:  a role for personal life in advocacy for Nature’s Soapbox Science blog.  Check it out here.

In the News

1) Australia’s Top Scientist Calls for a National Strategic Science Policy by Dennis Normile

Australia’s top science adviser yesterday warned the nation that it was time to feel a “sense of urgency” about its slipping science and technology expertise or risk falling behind the rest of the world scientifically and economically.

Find the entire story at:

2) Famous HeLa Cells Get Genetic Close-Up, and New Data-Sharing Rules

by John Bohannon

 Five months after it was hastily removed from the Internet in the face of harsh criticism, the genome of the widely used HeLa cell line is back online today. Not only that, but it is also now sequenced at the highest level of resolution yet for a cancer research cell line. But scientists who want to use those data must now ask for permission from a committee that includes descendants of the woman whose cells were taken—without her consent—62 years ago.

The HeLa cell line is named after Henrietta Lacks, a woman whose aggressive cervical cancer killed her in 1951. Researchers used cells sampled from that tumor to create the HeLa cell line, the first and now by far the most commonly used in cell biology laboratories. Lacks herself was all but forgotten until science journalist Rebecca Skloot published a book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, that revealed how insensitively biomedical researchers have treated the family over the decades.

Find the entire story at:


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