For centuries, scientific innovation has led to major improvements in our quality of life. From the discovery of the lifesaving properties of penicillin to sequencing the human genome, our ability to improve people's health, food security, and environment is constantly improving. Such advances are the result of significant efforts by biologists to better our understanding of life in all of its diverse forms.

"Biological Innovations: Benefits of Federal Investments in Biology" highlights the innovations, and technical advancements resulting from such research.

Among the discoveries that stem from federally-funded research include:

  • Development of an adhesive derived from the carnivorous sundew plant. Nanoparticles in the plant's adhesive stick to human cells and have the potential for healing wounds, regenerating damaged tissues, and improving synthetic adhesives.
  • Scientists found that dead wood in forests serve many ecological functions. Tens of millions of dollars per year have been saved by leaving unmerchantable dead wood in place instead of removing it during logging.
  • University-based biological collections were used to identify the origin of Hantavirus in the southwestern U.S. The disease caused twelve deaths before it was identified.

The report was prepared by the American Institute of Biological Sciences.


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