Federal Science and Technology in Brief
* On November 2, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation approved several bills, including the Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2011, which calls for a national strategy and implementation plan to address harmful algal blooms and hypoxia (inadequate oxygen supply to cells and tissues). Similar legislation was approved by the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee in July.
* The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a blueprint for biomedical innovation featuring seven steps: rebuilding small business outreach services; building infrastructure to drive and support personalized medicine; creating a rapid drug development pathway for targeted therapies; harnessing the potential of data mining and information sharing; improving the medical device review process; training new innovators; and streamlining FDA regulations. "Our innovation blueprint highlights some of the initiatives FDA will be implementing that [new scientific] opportunities are translated into sale and effective treatments that can help keep both American patients and American industry healthy and strong," said FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg.
* The President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness released an interim report titled "Taking Action, Building Confidence:' The report groups its recommendations into five initiatives: (1) investing in infrastructure and energy development; (2) encouraging entrepreneurship and accelerating the number and scale of young, small businesses and high-growth firms; (3) fostering investment, within the United States; (4) simplifying regulatory review and streamlining project approvals; and (5) ensuring U. …