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The Agenda

June 1, 2007

Credit: Right: © Ron Bergeron" /> Credit: Right: © Ron Bergeron ENDANGERED SPECIES>> For the first time in almost a decade, the US Supreme Court will hear and decide an Endangered Species Act case, EPA v. Defenders of Wildlife, according to the organizers of CLE International's conference on the subject on June 25 in San Diego. Travel with Ivan Oransky to Washington and Oregon to find out what scientists and veterinarians are doing to protect one endang

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The weather gene

By | June 1, 2007

Credit: Right: © Ron Bergeron" /> Credit: Right: © Ron Bergeron Andrew Johnston, of the University of East Anglia in Norwich, United Kingdom, is usually found studying the molecular genetics of the nitrogen-fixing bacteria that live in the roots of leguminous plants such as peas and beans. One day, he found himself in a chance lunchtime conversation about dimethyl sulfide (DMS). The DMS story started in 1972 with the publication of an influential paper by James Lovelock

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For love or oil

By | May 1, 2007

Credit: Courtesy of Linda Snook" /> Credit: Courtesy of Linda Snook On some workdays, Milton S. Love happily sinks to the bottom of the sea in a contraption the size of a telephone booth turned on its side. With only a clammy mat to lie on, for a break he gets to sit upright while trying not to bump his head on the three-foot high ceiling. Through a tiny hole, Milton spends a couple of blissful hours counting fish, speaking aloud the names and sizes he sees as a video camera rolls. I

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Gene therapy for Fido

By | May 1, 2007

Plasmid GHRH delivery in a dog. Credit: Courtesy of Patricia Brown" />Plasmid GHRH delivery in a dog. Credit: Courtesy of Patricia Brown A few months after arriving at Baylor College of Medicine in 1995, Ruxandra Draghia-Akli, an assistant professor, adopted an abandoned Jack Russell terrier she found at the cafeteria. Baylor, named for the school, is one of two dogs that Draghia-Akli has lost to cancer in the past six years, and watching his decline was taxing. ?He

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Stem Cell Funnies

By | May 1, 2007

Related Articles Slideshow: Stem Cells for Laughs On a flight from Atlanta to Albuquerque in February, Tilo Kunath, a research fellow at the University of Edinburgh, found himself chatting with an older gentleman next to him. That had the potential to be sticky: Kunath works with embryonic and extraembryonic stem cell lines, and his work sometimes requires the destruction of human embryos. His traveling companion wasn?t exactly quiet about his more socially conservative views. At

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The Agenda

May 1, 2007

LINNAEUS TERCENTENNIAL>> Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus would have turned 300 this month. Sweden is hosting a number of celebrations, including a Linnean garden at the Chelsea Garden Show, a Festival of Love, and bike rides through Swedish regions that inspired the Father of Taxonomy. Pick your favorite event at www.linnaeus2007.se/. TREE SPREE>> China is planting a 2,800-mile for

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The Green Wall of China

By | May 1, 2007

With the Beijing Olympics just a year away, and desert dunes now only 150 miles away from the city, officials have been dreaming big when it comes to battling legendary Chinese sandstorms in the capital and across the country?s arid north. In 2001, the government approved a new phase of an $8 billion antidesertification campaign, stretching from the capital to Inner Mongolia. The 4,500 kilometer shelterbelt ? with 25 million hectares of trees planted and

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Year of the Panda

By | May 1, 2007

Related Articles Slideshow: On the panda trail On a March afternoon, there are so many pandas in the ?kindergarten pen? at Wolong Nature Reserve in China?s Sichuan Province, it?s hard to keep track of their antics. One is attempting a handstand while three others are playing king of the hill. These carefree cubs ? a record 19 from Wolong?s 2006 breeding season ? are part of the dramatic comeback for a symbol of conservation: the giant panda. The toddlers may one day follow Xiangxi

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A war against war metaphors

By | April 1, 2007

When the University of Nottingham, UK opened its new Center for Healthcare Associated Infections, a facility dedicated to studying and controlling "superbugs," The Guardian newspaper interviewed its director, Richard James, about why such a research center was necessary. He said: "This is a sophisticated army with astonishing weapons. And each time we develop something new, [bacteria] develop a defense for it." The use of such war metaphors in science and medicine is not new. As ear

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Scooped by a blog

By | April 1, 2007

Reed Cartwright" />Reed Cartwright One day in March 2005, Reed Cartwright jotted his thoughts on his blog, De Rerum Natura, after reading a paper that had just been published in Nature. Cartwright, then a PhD student in genetics at the University of Georgia, was skeptical. Susan Lolle and colleagues at Purdue University had found a peculiar phenomenon regarding a mutant gene, called hothead (hth), in Arabidopsis. In parents carrying the mutant hth gene, 10% of the progeny ended u

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