Here's a roundup of some of the science policy stories we covered this past week on Science's policy blog, ScienceInsider. Scientists around the world have been struggling to help a virologist who might have been exposed to the Ebola virus. An unnamed scientist at the Bernard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg, Germany, pricked her finger with a syringe during an experiment earlier this month. A team of world experts on the deadly disease eventually chose a new type of experimental vaccine developed in a Canadian lab and previously tested on monkeys. In 2003, researchers showed that a single shot of the virus offers protection in monkeys even if administered after exposure to Ebola. As of press time, it was still unknown whether the researcher had been infected or not.
The mad scramble for millions of dollars in stimulus funds has strained the Web site that handles federal grants, Grants.gov. According to data released in March, the site is designed to accommodate 2000 users at a time but was getting requests for 50% more than that. As a result, on 16 March, the system was down for 8 hours, prompting the U.S. National Institutes of Health to extend a grant deadline by a day. NIH might even begin accepting paper submissions for some proposals. Dutch science minister Ronald Plasterk announced this week that the 170-year-old severed head of King Badu Bonsu II of Ghana will be returned to the king's homeland after a writer found it preserved in formaldehyde in a medical research collection at Leiden University Medical Center last year.
Finally, a public contest to name a new observatory module to be connected this year to the international space station has gone awry after Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert asked followers to add his name to the write-in ballots. His came out on top, ahead of four suggested names.