As a parent of a child with Down Syndrome, not to mention a VP candidate spouting the need to fund research for the study of human genetic disorders, you would think that she would at least have an inkling of how genomic research works. As a biologist, I find this truly unbelievable. from ThinkProgress.org "This morning, Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) gave her first policy speech urging the federal government to fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) . . . in the speech, Palin cited the need to do more for children with disabilities such as autism: "For many parents of children with disabilities, the most valuable thing of all is information. Early identification of a cognitive or other disorder, especially autism, can make a life-changing difference." Palin claimed that the amount that Congress spends on earmarks “is more than the shortfall to fully fund IDEA.” She then ridiculed some of the projects — such as “fruit fly research” — saying they have little or no value: "Where does a lot of that earmark money end up anyway? […] You’ve heard about some of these pet projects they really don’t make a whole lot of sense and sometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not." this is complete ignorance on so many levels. Does the GOP not realize that Drosophila spp. a.k.a. "fruit flys" are a model organism for the study of human genetic disorders. We already heard McCain's earmark example of "studies of the DNA of bears in Montana." Scientists worldwide should be worried, not that McCain and Palin will be elected, but that there is so much ignorance at top levels of the American government.