NOT ‘BUSINESS AS USUAL’
Biden Inspires ‘Moonshot’ Cancer Effort at NIH

In his final State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama calls on Vice President Joe Biden to run “mission control” for an NCI-led “moonshot” to cure cancer.
In his final State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama calls on Vice President Joe Biden to run “mission control” for an NCI-led “moonshot” to cure cancer.

Putting his considerable political capital behind fresh opportunities to make progress against cancer, Vice President Joe Biden is to run “mission control” at an NIH and National Cancer Institute-led “moonshot” effort, said President Barack Obama at his Jan. 12 State of the Union address.

Two days later, NIH director Dr. Francis Collins and NCI acting director Dr. Doug Lowy briefed reporters on fuels for the rocket, including recent success with immunotherapy; lowered costs of genetic sequencing, which will permit faster finer and cheaper analysis of the genomic glitches that lie behind the hundreds of diseases known as cancer; the promise of scalable, effective cancer vaccines based on abnormalities in specific tumors; and an aggressive “combination therapy” approach, to “hit [cancer] with everything we’ve got,” Collins said.

“This coalescence of events suggests there is a pathway here,” he added. “And we have a very motivated and passionate individual to lead us…He will build a bold, coherent and milestone-driven program. This is the moment to pull out all the stops.”

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‘Databrary’ Promotes Sharing, Reuse of Video for Researchers

Dr. Karen Adolph
Dr. Karen Adolph

“If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a thousand pictures.” That’s how important video is to developmental research, said Dr. Karen Adolph, professor of psychology and neural science at New York University.

Video gives researchers the opportunity to watch what happens in the blink of an eye—and the ability to repeat that instant, over and over again if need be, she said at a recent Behavioral and Social Sciences Lecture in Natcher Bldg.

Researchers have been using video and film to record infant behavior since Arnold Gesell and Myrtle McGraw pioneered the practice in the 1920s and 1930s. Video allows researchers to gain “new insights into the causes and consequences of learning and development,” Adolph said. “It’s the cheapest, easiest and most
effective way to record what people do.”

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