Casey: ‘Junk’ DNA Discovery Underscores Need to Protect Medical Research

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today urged Senate appropriators to protect funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in response to the recent NIH breakthrough identifying the function of ‘junk’ DNA in switching genes on or off. The breakthrough could have a wide ranging impact on the development of new therapies.

“This breakthrough could significantly improve the lives of countless patients and is a prime example of what is possible when research and innovation are prioritized,” said Senator Casey. “It is imperative that funding for the NIH is not slashed so that we can continue to make medical breakthroughs that contribute to economic growth and improve quality of life.”

In a letter to the Senate appropriators, Senator Casey warned that reduced research due to cuts to the NIH budget could interrupt ongoing research and make it harder for new research to gain support.

In a separate letter to NIH director Francis Collins, Senator Casey congratulated the NIH researchers for their breakthrough and pledged fight to protect investment in biomedical research.

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