Researchers across the country are already feeling the effects of the US government's shutdown that began on Tuesday.
Due to mandatory furloughs, the National Institute of Health has temporarily lost 73% of its employees. The staff decrease has caused the NIH to put much of its research on hold. This includes research at the NIH Clinical Center, the largest clinical research hospital in the country. The iconic hospital, located in Bethesda, Maryland, has had to stop accepting new patients until funding is restored.
Impacts from the funding cuts have been felt outside of Maryland, too. The NIH is the world's largest funding source for medical research. Research labs across the country will have to wait and see what happens to their grants as Congress tries to agree on a funding plan for government operations. In addition, online resources such as PubMed, a website offering millions of free scientific publications, will be operating at minimal capacity.
These setbacks have undoubtedly had an impact on the research community in San Diego, one of the nation's largest hubs for biomedical research. Local institutes and universities such as UCSD, SDSU, The Salk Institute, The Scripps Institute, Sanford-Burnham and many more regularly rely on resources and funding from the NIH.
Until the issues in Washington are resolved, scientists all over the United States will have to wait to continue their work, and patients will have to wait for new, potentially life-saving treatments.