Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

FACT SHEET: President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative

January 30, 2015: “Building on President Obama’s announcement in his State of the Union Address, today the Administration is unveiling details about the Precision Medicine Initiative, a bold new research effort to revolutionize how we improve health and treat disease.  Launched with a $215 million investment in the President’s 2016 Budget, the Precision Medicine Initiative will pioneer a new model of patient-powered research that promises to accelerate biomedical discoveries and provide clinicians with new tools, knowledge, and therapies to select which treatments will work best for which patients. Most medical treatments have been designed for the “average patient.” As a result of this “one-size-fits-all-approach,” treatments can be very successful for some patients but not for others.  This is changing with the emergence of precision medicine, an innovative approach to disease prevention and treatment that takes into account individual differences in people’s genes, environments, and lifestyles.  Precision medicine gives clinicians tools to better understand the complex mechanisms underlying a patient’s health, disease, or condition, and to better predict which treatments will be most effective.  Advances in precision medicine have already led to powerful new discoveries and several new treatments that are tailored to specific characteristics of individuals, such as a person’s genetic makeup, or the genetic profile of an individual’s tumor.  This is leading to a transformation in the way we can treat diseases such as cancer.  Patients with breast, lung, and colorectal cancers, as well as melanomas and leukemias, for instance, routinely undergo molecular testing as part of patient care, enabling physicians to select treatments that improve chances of survival and reduce exposure to adverse effects.   The potential for precision medicine to improve care and speed the development of new treatments has only just begun to be tapped. Translating initial successes to a larger scale will require a coordinated and sustained national effort.  Through collaborative public and private efforts, the Precision Medicine Initiative will leverage advances in genomics, emerging methods for managing and analyzing large data sets while protecting privacy, and health information technology to accelerate biomedical discoveries.  The Initiative will also engage a million or more Americans to volunteer to contribute their health data to improve health outcomes, fuel the development of new treatments, and catalyze a new era of data-based and more precise medical treatment…”

Surveying American Attitudes toward Climate Change and Clean Energy

“Resources for the Future has teamed up with Stanford University to conduct an in-depth survey of American perceptions of climate change and energy policies. The most recent poll was released in January 2015 in partnership with The New York Times. The survey asked respondents questions on a range of topics, including: How serious a problemContinue Reading

Libraries After Charlie Hebdo: The Threat of Violence, The Fear of Self-Censorship

Lisa Peet – Library Journal – “Although written texts often evoke strong, sometimes contentious reactions, political cartoons and caricatures can be equally incendiary. According to Barbara Jones, executive director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) of the American Library Association. (ALA), “Cartoons are a particular problem in our office—graphic novels and books with cartoonsContinue Reading

Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction 26th Quarterly Report to Congress

Neil Gordon – Investigator, POGO: “This week, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) released its 26th Quarterly Report to Congress. The last quarter saw great accomplishments in Afghanistan, as well as a disturbing reminder of our government’s obsession with secrecy. The final three months of 2014 marked a milestone in Afghanistan, with NATOContinue Reading

Public and Scientists’ Views on Science and Society

January 29, 2015 Public and Scientists’ Views on Science and Society By Cary Funk and Lee Rainie “Scientific innovations are deeply embedded in national life — in the economy, in core policy choices about how people care for themselves and use the resources around them, and in the topmost reaches of Americans’ imaginations. New PewContinue Reading

Privacy Board Renews Call for President Obama to End Bulk Collection

EPIC – “The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board released a report on prior recommendations regarding the NSA’s domestic and global surveillance programs. The Board stated that the Obama Administration has failed to end the domestic telephone collection program. The Board stated, “the Administration can end the bulk telephone records program at any time, withoutContinue Reading

Banking Business Models and the Extent of Financial Crisis

Hryckiewicz, Aneta and Kozlowski, Lukasz, Banking Business Models and the Extent of Financial Crisis (January 28, 2015). Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2557097 “This study applies the k-medoids methodology and identifies various banking business models according to asset combinations and funding sources. The study determines the effects of these models on bank risk-return profiles. WeContinue Reading

White House releases new flood risk management standard

FACT SHEET: Taking Action to Protect Communities and Reduce the Cost of Future Flood Disasters “Across the country, extreme weather and other impacts of climate change are threatening the health, safety, and prosperity of our communities. This month, NOAA and NASA announced that 2014 was the hottest global year on record.  And as the planetContinue Reading

Range of practice in regulation and supervision of institutions relevant to financial inclusion

“The fast pace of change in the financial inclusion landscape is presenting supervisors with new issues and challenges. Developments in digital financial inclusion, in particular, are posing new challenges for how authorities define their regulatory scope and allocate supervisory resources. This Basel Committee report reveals the extent to which supervisory and regulatory practices are evolvingContinue Reading

Interplay of accounting and regulation and its impact on bank behaviour: Literature review

Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Working Papers No 28 January 2015 “Regulatory and accounting rules are important determinants of bank behaviour; however, the interaction of the two is often not well understood and their intended outcomes do not always align. This Basel Committee working paper reviews academic literature on the interplay of accounting and regulatoryContinue Reading

Nomination of 10 Buildings by Frank Lloyd Wright to the World Heritage List

“Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today announced that the United States is nominating a group of 10 buildings in seven states designed by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright for inclusion on the World Heritage List, which recognizes the most significant cultural and natural sites on the planet. “Through its World Heritage Sites the UnitedContinue Reading

Hearing Before the Senate On Protecting America from Cyber Attacks: The Importance of Information Sharing

CDT – “Greg Nojeim’s testimony for the January 28th hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee on Protecting America from Cyber Attacks. He will explain how Congress can embrace cybersecurity information sharing policies with appropriate authorities and safeguards that enhance both privacy and security, first describing the cybersecurity threat then identifying different approachesContinue Reading