Gore pledges support for bioscience

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Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore has proposed that, if elected, he will double cancer-research spending over five years and create a new bioengineering institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

An economic plan released on 6 September also calls for an increased emphasis on bioinformatics. It proposes the creation of 20 university-based centres of excellence in biomedical computing.

Gore's plan calls for an $18 billion, ten-year increase in spending on “cancer and other medical research” as part of “a larger commitment to all medical research”. The National Cancer Institute's current budget is $3 billion.

The plan does not specify the size of the larger commitment. But Devona Dolliole, deputy national spokeswoman for the Gore campaign, says that Gore plans to double NIH spending on extramural research — an increase of $83.9 billion — although she could not say over what time frame.

The 191-page plan says that, along with the cancer money, Gore would provide “similar increases in funding for biomedical research to fight other diseases — from Alzheimer's and Parkinson's to diabetes and HIV/AIDS”. His proposal says that a new bioengineering institute at NIH could lead to breakthroughs such as a cure for spinal-cord injuries, and production of artificial retinas and kidneys.

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Wadman, M. Gore pledges support for bioscience. Nature 407, 118 (2000) doi:10.1038/35025294

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