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Horizon Discovery
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September 1, 2006

A Nasty Mother The reverence for nature that Richard Gallagher1 and Lee Silver2 attribute to many scientists and nonscientists isn?t necessarily related to a view that mother nature is "benevolent," "kind," or "caring." An ecosystem can be both "in harmony" and still be deadly to individuals (even humans) and species. Many of us are very nervous about genetic engineering and other issues within bioethics because we humans just aren?t smart enough to take those functions away from

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Letters

August 1, 2006

Restoring natural capital As scientists and practitioners committed to ecological restoration, we found the analogy you made in your April issue1 between restoring natural capital (RNC)2 and new forms of cancer treatment3 to be an extremely powerful one. To a certain degree, RNC and ecological restoration in general, are indeed related to ecosystem degradation in the way that tumor ecology-based treatments are related to traditional cancer therapies, e.g., combined

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Letters

July 1, 2006

The future of scientific meetings One of the very wonderful meeting formats, not mentioned in your story on the future of scientific meetings,1 was that of Kroc conferences, sponsored by the Kroc Foundation. The meetings allowed only 24 participants and met in the Double Arches Ranch near Solvang, California. There was a free-flowing bar, and ideal arrangements for continuing discussion between participants. The overall director of the meetings was Bob Kroc, Ray's brother

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Letters

June 1, 2006

A new type of cancer cell growth Re: cancer stem cells.1,2 Recently we have reported a novel type of cell division involved in the origin and growth of cancers.3,4 Termed neosis, this type of cell division occurs only in senescent polyploid giant cells and never in normal diploid cells. Up to 10% of tumor cells both in vitro and in vivo are polyploid, and so far there is no explanation of their role in cancer. These resemble senescent cells, which are thought to be part of the tumor

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Letters

May 1, 2006

What went horribly wrong in a London clinical trial? The recent report by the MHRA on its investigation into the adverse effects in the TGN1412 trial1 concluded that an unpredicted biological action of the drug in humans is the most likely cause of the cytokine release syndrome seen in the trial participants.2 So do we have any idea on how could TGN1412 have induced a cytokine storm? TGN1412 is a monoclonal antibody that targets the CD28 co-signaling molecule that is present

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Letters

April 1, 2006

More on peer review Your recent article on peer review1 omitted the fact that far too many journals do not report back to their reviewers. Only if a reviewer gets the decision letter plus the other reviews will he be able to learn and improve. Learning about the decision only when the paper makes it - or doesn't - to Medline is not sufficient. Manfred Gessler Theodor Boveri Institute for Life SciencesWuerzburg, Germanygessler@biozentrum.uni-wuerzburg.de Your

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Letters

March 1, 2006

The trouble with peer review In response to the challenge offered at the end of the article entitled, "Is Peer Review Broken?"1 I offer the following: Thirty years ago, I submitted a paper for publication that was rejected by one reviewer because the data contradicted other data. I was unaware of the other data and, in fact, that data had never been published. However, only one other person in the world could have produced such data. To overcome this impasse, a colleague su

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Retraining in Moscow

By | January 1, 2006

The peace dividend pays off in the challenges of teaching English to former bioterrorism researchers

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Bacteria and magnets

By | December 5, 2005

Re: Helping bacteria use magnets.1 Magnetotactic bacteria do not navigate by using the earth's magnetic field. They only move – pushed by their magnetosoms from the inside – in the direction of the lines of that field. This is not navigation. To navigate means to be able to move in any desired direction in relation to the direction of the earth's magnetic field.

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Synchronous oscillations

By | December 5, 2005

Re: Neural oscillations.1 Our work on synchronous oscillations involves analysis of ambiguous figures and the results indicating that multiple coherences were observed across a wide range of frequencies (not just gamma).2 This work raises the possibility that coherent oscillations are involved in memory retrieval (the realization of an alternative image in an ambiguous figure requires one to remember what the alternative image represents).

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