This last week we heard from Jacob who presented his work during our weekly lab meeting.
He detailed his scoring method for us and showed us some of his results. Most strikingly, he is seeing consistent deformities of zebrafish hearts which have been exposed to a dioxin, tBOOH. I spent the week investigating whether the addition of pre-clearing or pre-blocking steps could enhance our Chromatin Immunoprecipitation procedure.Turns out neither really help at all! I can’t really describe this last week though without mentioning the election. Here’s what a Trump Presidency could mean for the scientific research community:
Currently the federal government funds one third of all research and development projects in the country. Generally, funding research has been a bipartisan issue and Trump has said little during his campaign to allude to his own stance on scientific funding, so it is difficult to anticipate how funding could change. In the past, republicans have voted to cut research budgets, but more recently those budgets have been allowed to grow. Right now, we can only really speculate on a few fields of research which Trump has expressed his opinion on.
Climate scientists are likely in the biggest trouble. Trump has questioned the legitimacy of climate change several times and has now appointed Myron Ebell, a climate denier, to the EPA. Additionally, he is seeking a way to leave the Paris Deal which was meant to curb climate change. Given his stance on the importance of climate science, we can only assume he will not be advocating for federal money to support further research. Trump has also expressed his dislike for The National Institute of Health which funds research across the country, including our lab! Whether his dislike of the organization will actually lead him to defund it, we’ll just have to wait and see. Engineers may be the only ones feeling confident about their funding right now. They are at least hoping that his promises to put money into transportation infrastructure will include research projects.