Debate’s silence on research role, a look at Obama’s science stances, Uganda — again, and more . . .

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Research! America responds to gap in debate: When the presidential candidates fail to mention the role  that funding scientific research can play in our economy, competitiveness and health, does it make a sound? Research!America President Mary Woolley heard the resounding silence and issued a statement calling on them to make  health research a priority. The Research!America site also has posted responses received so far from presidential and congressional candidates to a survey of questions on their views surrounding health research. President Obama has replied; as of Friday Mitt Romney had not. You can look up your congressional candidates responses — or lack of — by ZIP Code, State, or name.

US science: The Obama experiment: When President Obama took office, promising a friendly view of science and bringing a “star-studded science team,” this Nature news feature says, high hopes, and, correspondingly, some disappointment was sure to follow. This article looks at the obstacles, let downs and achievements of Obama’s science projects —  and finds that in spite of political and economic obstacles and a few puzzling moves,  he has made good on his commitment to “restore science to its rightful place.”

A Uganda hospital’s AIDS deaths: Much has changed since the early 90s, when Uganda’s relatively early, vigorous, and apparently effective response to its AIDS epidemic was heralded as an example world wide. Money came, and mandates on how to spend it followed, American ministers came, and new legislation proposing prison and death for gay men followed, and somewhere along the way, HIV prevalence in the country began to rise again. One could say more people are living longer, but other measures — a failing public health system, continuing stigma surrounding the disease — indicate flagging government commitment. Now this story from The Observer looks at why, despite supposed access to antiretroviral treatment, more than half of the hospital’s 315 deaths in the last year were attributed to AIDS, and why 9 percent of the babies born to HIV-positive women in a prevention-of-mother-to-child-transmission program were born with the virus.

Tracking and treating tuberculosis in developing countries: This article looks at the application of implementation science — applying clinical realities into public health responses — to improve tuberculosis detection and then treatment for patients whose distance to the nearest clinic poses formidable challenges to follow up care.

With new TB diagnostics, context matters: New diagnostic technology addresses just one of the issues in the epidemic spread of tuberculosis, this World Health Organization Bulletin article says. If immediate, effective and complete treatment is not accessible, accurate diagnoses will yield little benefit.

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