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Getting samples - and scammed

By | February 1, 2007

For oceanographers Jess Adkins of California Institute of Technology and his then-postdoc Kim Cobb (now at Georgia Institute of Technology), the trouble began when they hired a well-connected local to handle logistics and navigate bureaucracy while they collected samples from caves in Malaysian Borneo. Adkins and Cobb were collecting drip water, bedrock and stalagmites for the Pacific Tropical Climate Study, which they hope will help integrate climate data with geochemistry. Such

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Man's best virus

By | February 1, 2007

Credit: © H.C. ROBINSON / PHOTO RESEARCHERS, INC." /> Credit: © H.C. ROBINSON / PHOTO RESEARCHERS, INC. It might be considered the cat's revenge on the dog that chased it around the house and yard: Sometime in the late 1960s or 1970s, deadly feline parvovirus jumped from cats to dogs, becoming canine parvovirus. Then, in 1978, it started killing puppies at an alarming rate. "Most viruses go into a new host and just die out," says Laura Shackelton, a postdoc at Pennsylvania State Univ

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Milk: It's electric

By | February 1, 2007

http://www.the-scientist.com/2007/2/1/34/1/ What's in Your Milk The hypothesis: Steroid and peptide hormones in milk increase the risk of cancer. IVAN ORANSKY sifts through the data to find the truth. http://www.the-scientist.com/2007/2/1/20/1/ The cow whisperer http://www.the-scientist.com/2007/2/1/37/1/ Dairy economics: Milking blood from a stone http://www.the-scientist.com/2007/2/1/40/1/ Milk and human hea

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The Agenda

February 1, 2007

THE BOSS MATTERS » Staff writer Kerry Grens finds out what happens when researchers fight - and how to resolve conflict. Beef up your leadership skills and learn to create a better work environment at the Institute for Emotional Intelligence at Texas A&M University's annual conference, Feb. 22-23. For more, see http://tinyurl.com/ybnhxx. DARWIN DAY » Celebrate international Darwin day on Feb. 12 with parties and lectures hosted around the world (find one ne

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A centenarian club

By | January 1, 2007

When Russell Snell and his colleagues at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, were recently designing a study to test a candidate Alzheimer's gene, they ran up against a roadblock: How to put together a control group? "It's a problem," says Snell. "How do you identify a person who is not going to develop Alzheimer's?" Need 100-year-old research subjects? Try Medicine. The obvious answer was to find a group of healthy people who had passed the usu

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A ground-breaking lab

By | January 1, 2007

A DIRTY JOB: Alexander Friend observing activity in a window at the rhizotron." />A DIRTY JOB: Alexander Friend observing activity in a window at the rhizotron. Alexander Friend walks up to a stainless steel door, twists some latches holding it into the wall, and lifts the 7-kg rectangle out of its hole and onto the floor, revealing a sideways 152 x 101 cm window into the earth. This is window 17 of the 24 in the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service's Houghton, Michigan rhizotr

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A ground-breaking lab

By | January 1, 2007

A DIRTY JOB: Alexander Friend observing activity in a window at the rhizotron." />A DIRTY JOB: Alexander Friend observing activity in a window at the rhizotron. Alexander Friend walks up to a stainless steel door, twists some latches holding it into the wall, and lifts the 7-kg rectangle out of its hole and onto the floor, revealing a sideways 152 x 101 cm window into the earth. This is window 17 of the 24 in the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service's Houghton, Michigan rhizotr

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Are politics in your DNA?

By | January 1, 2007

Twenty-one years ago, a young Australian geneticist named Nick Martin published a paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (83:4364-8, 1986) that described a curious sideline to his regular work on the epidemiology of disease in twins. The study, which Martin coauthored with his mentor Lyndon Eaves, probed the transmission of social attitudes among more than 4,500 pairs of fraternal and identical twins. The results suggested that genetic factors, rather than cultural o

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Hate ticks? Save deer

By | January 1, 2007

Ticks feeding on a yellow necked mouse. Credit: COURTESY OF DAMIAMO ZANOCCO" />Ticks feeding on a yellow necked mouse. Credit: COURTESY OF DAMIAMO ZANOCCO If you thought it made sense to decrease disease-carrying ticks in your area by removing the deer that harbor ticks, Sarah Perkins has some news for you. Perkins, a postdoc in the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Pennsylvania State University, recently looked at studies in which researchers removed deer from large areas, ca

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The Agenda

January 1, 2007

A DIRTY JOB: Alexander Friend observing activity in a window at the rhizotron." />A DIRTY JOB: Alexander Friend observing activity in a window at the rhizotron. Alexander Friend walks up to a stainless steel door, twists some latches holding it into the wall, and lifts the 7-kg rectangle out of its hole and onto the floor, revealing a sideways 152 x 101 cm window into the earth. This is window 17 of the 24 in the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service's Houghton, Michigan rhizotr

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