Showing posts from December 1, 2023

Storm Clouds Over Dutch Higher Education: Impact of Far-Right Victory on Universities

Amidst a political landscape shift in the Netherlands, concerns arise over the potential ramifications on higher education. The unexpected surge of far-right parties could reshape policies, impacting international students and the scientific community. As far-right parties gain unexpected traction in the Netherlands, the ramifications extend beyond political arenas into the academic landscape. The recent victory of the Party for Freedom (PVV) and its leader, Geert Wilders, has sparked apprehensions within the scientific community about the potential impact on education, research, and international collaboration. The Threat to Internationalization: The PVV's manifesto sends ripples through Dutch universities, with a call to restrict internationalization. A Wilders-led government could impose severe restrictions on international students, comprising 15% of the university population. The proposal to eliminate English-language undergraduate courses raises concerns about the quality

Redwood Resilience: Ancient Sugars Come to the Rescue After Devastating Wildfires

When flames threatened the towering redwoods of Big Basin Redwoods State Park, it wasn't just a battle against fire; it was a showdown of resilience. In the aftermath of the 2020 inferno, scientists unveil a secret weapon hidden in the heart of these ancient giants—sugars that defy time and nature. The redwoods, known for their majestic stature and fire-resistant bark, faced an unprecedented threat as wildfires raged. But in a tale defying our understanding of tree growth, a team led by tree ecophysiologist Drew Peltier reveals the surprising strategy employed by these arboreal giants. "The charred survivors astounded us. It was like witnessing a phoenix rising from the ashes," exclaims Peltier. The research, published in Nature Plants, showcases a remarkable feat: tapping into energy reserves dating back centuries. Adrian Rocha, an ecosystem ecologist, expresses his awe, stating, "Carbon taken up decades ago sustains growth into the future. It challenges everyth

NIH Hits the Brakes on Stroke Drug Trial Amidst Safety Concerns and Lab Investigations

In a plot twist that could rival a medical thriller, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has slammed the brakes on a major human trial for a potential stroke drug, 3K3A-APC, amidst concerns over safety and alleged scientific misconduct. The drug, touted as a brain protector after strokes, now finds itself at the center of a dramatic saga involving whistleblowers, questionable data, and a suspenseful NIH investigation. The rollercoaster began with a Science investigation that unveiled whispers of potential troubles with 3K3A-APC. Whistleblowers raised alarms about data from an earlier phase 2 trial, suggesting that rather than saving lives, the drug might be linked to increased deaths or disabilities in stroke patients. As if that weren't enough, allegations of manipulated images and data in lab studies supporting the drug's promise added an extra layer of intrigue. NIH's response on November 16 was swift and decisive—halting the launch of the eagerly awaited phase 3