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The Power of Two

Dream Ideas, Think Cash

Published March 3, 2014 12:27 PM by Eleanor Wolfram

Ideas for improving healthcare mean absolutely nothing, when you do not have the money to bring your creations to life. Lately depending on which media you listen to, research grant money is either drying up or making a comeback. But the more unique your investigative idea, the more it seems that both private and public monetary angels will fly to you to give cash to your endeavor.

Recently, many scientists across the nation were holding their breath watching for the outcome of the Senate farm-bill. The hope was that the passage of this legislation would mean a continuance of $8.6 million federal grant for agriculture and farm biology. The good news is that both the Senate and Congress representatives saw the wisdom of allocating the funds and the bill was sent to President Barack Obama for his approval signature. With the passage of the farm bill much needed agricultural research, such as investigating how to increase the bee pollination of crops could resume.

Biologists are always looking for creative ways to fund their research. There is hope with funding from the likes of the Golden Goose Awards (GGA). For example, the biologists who discovered a thermophilic bacterium were the recipients of the recent GGA. This group as well as other financial angels encourages innovative and creative research ideas, because they have come to realize that medical genius can come from peculiar and oddball ideas.

Support for funding basic science research is a bi-partisan activity. Everyone, regardless of political affiliation, agrees evidence-based science projects will only help the country excel. For example, congressional support representatives Charlie Dent (R-Philadelphia) and Jim Cooper (D-Tennessee) are very involved as coalition members with the GGA Awards program.

The GGA has seen to it that several ground breaking societal and healthcare breakthroughs occurred including but not limited to, a mathematical algorithm designed to place the maximum number of men and women with their perfect matches for marriage; later the model was used help match kidney disease patients with transplants and new doctors with appropriate hospitals.

Other examples include the one of biologists who identified the bacterium Thermus aquaticus from samples collected at Yellowstone National Park's hot springs; later the enzyme from the heat-tolerant bacterium was used in the development of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). This model revolutionized biomedical research and gave biotechnology and genomics a tremendous boost.

The key point is innovative ideas are the attraction with the goal of benefiting mankind in the areas of economic and/or public health societally significant.

posted by Eleanor Wolfram


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