There is a subtle difference in the meanings of these sentences.
They both express an hypothetical situation. In the first case that situation has the potential to demoralize scientists but not necessarily will while in the second one, the situation should it happen will demoralize them.
Avoir de quoi is also often used in situation where the hypothesis is more unlikely to materialize, e.g. Il y a là de quoi faire exploser une voiture would be used when the explosion has little chance to happen while ce qu’il y a là pourrait faire exploser une voiture is a serious warning. Thanks Yohann V. for the suggestion.
Yes, there are based on the same pattern.
Beyond what I previously wrote about avoir de quoi, there is no fundamental difference in meaning between them.