Neither snow, nor rain, nor the gloom of a government shutdown could keep NIH’s Research Festival from happening. It was just postponed a little.
This year’s festival celebrated two 60th anniversaries: that of James Watson and Francis Crick’s landmark paper that first described the DNA double-helix structure, published in Nature on April 25, 1953; and of the NIH Clinical Center, which was dedicated on July 2, 1953, and admitted its first patients four days later on July 6. In fact, the whole Research Festival took place in the Clinical Center—Masur Auditorium and in the newly opened Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES) Academic Center—instead of the Natcher Building (Building 45), where it’s been held for years.
Scientists at the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) have turned to crowdsourcing as a way to help analyze massive datasets and develop new models to predict the toxicity of pharmacological and environmental chemicals. Crowdsourcing involves using collective intelligence to answer a problem. And what better way to get a scientific crowd together to tackle a problem than to issue a challenge?
Using Genomics to Get Patients the Right Treatment
BY CHRIS PALMER, NCI
More than a decade and about $3 billion were sunk into sequencing the first human genome. Now, that feat can be accomplished in as little as five days and runs about $4,000. This reduction in the time and cost of genomic sequencing is the foundation of personalized medicine in which genetic analysis may point to the most effective treatment strategy.
The NIH Intramural Clinical Research Program: Changing the Trajectory of Care
BY STEVEN HOLLAND, DEPUTY DIRECTOR FOR INTRAMURAL CLINICAL RESEARCH
Deputy Director for Intramural Clinical Research Steven Holland highlights a few of the ongoing intramural approaches and trials at the Clinical Center that promise to change medical practice in the future.
Couldn’t get to all the symposia sessions at the Research Festival or you want a refresher on what you heard and saw? Here’s a sampling of what went on: “Sugar, Sugar” (about glycobiology research); “Pain, Pain, Pain”; “Aging Molecularly”; “Neurogenetic Analysis”; “T Cells Through Old Age”; “Using RNAi to Discover Genes”; “Tricking Viruses into Treating Disease”; “Optogenetic Manipulation of Neural Circuits and Behavior”; “Seriously Studying Stem Cells”; “Breast Is Best: Infant Dietary Guidelines”; and “Natural Born (Cancer) Killers.”
And Explains Why the Future Depends on Biomedical Innovation
BY REBECCA G. BAKER, NIAID
Global-health philanthropist Bill Gates, who co-founded Microsoft and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, visited NIH’s Bethesda campus on December 2, 2013, to tour research labs, meet with institute directors, and deliver the David E. Barmes Global Health Lecture.
Dale Lewis (NCI) won first place in the third annual “In-Focus Safe Workplaces for All” photography contest for this image that shows how scientists are safely handling radioactive materials in the lab.
Persevere, learn from your mistakes, and work with collaborators, NIH Director Francis Collins told attendees at the first annual NIH Clinical Fellows Day, held on Friday, October 25, 2013. Several other successful NIH physician-researchers offered career advice, too.
On display through April 18: History of Medicine Reading Room, NLM (Building 38, first floor)
The National Library of Medicine in cooperation with the National Museum of American History launched “From DNA to Beer: Harnessing Nature in Medicine and Industry” on November 18, 2013, and the exhibit will continue through April 18, 2014. The exhibition explores some of the processes, problems, and potential inherent in technologies that use microorganisms for health and commercial purposes. Over the past two centuries, scientists, in partnership with industry, have developed techniques using and modifying life forms like yeast, molds, and bacteria, to create a host of new therapies and produce better foods and beverages. The exhibition illustrates the history of this dynamic relationship among microbes, medicine, technology, and industry, which has spanned centuries. It includes a selection of artifacts from the collections of both organizations that illuminate relationships between science, industry, and the public in historical context.