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A big push for biomedical research?

A stethoscope sitting on a laptop

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: One of the country's biggest philanthropies will announce a new gift today for biomedical research. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute is giving $600 million to a group of 56 scientists. Jeremy Hobson has more on what this means.


Jeremy Hobson: When it comes to funding medical research, the top dog is still the federal government. Specifically, the National Institutes of Health and its nearly $30 billion budget.

But NIH funding has been flat since 2004. And David Farb of Boston University's School of Medicine says scientists are increasingly looking elsewhere for dollars.

David Farb: Scientists are looking in all kinds of nooks and crannies for funding. Now the Howard Hughes is hardly . . . is hardly a nook or a cranny. It's more like Niagara Falls.

And like the falls, the Hughes Institute wants to be a magnet for daredevils, hoping its money can be used for ambitious -- even risky -- research.

Farb says that's one big advantage of private research funding in general.

Farb: It's freer from congressional oversight. It's freer from directives other than the purpose of ultimately the best science.

In Washington, I'm Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.
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