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How to Get Help Writing Grants

By | July 5, 2004

Many sources such as books, Web sites, and workshops provide advice on writing grants. When you sit down to work on your grant, though, the advice may not propel you from theory to application. The trouble is, most sources supply generic help, written for anonymous grant writers. Here, you'll learn how to find personalized help that is often nearby.Before getting specific, let's consider four general suggestions. First, look to your institution's grants office. Grants specialists can help you fi

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Maltese Scientists Work on Wits

By | July 5, 2004

Courtesy of Malta Tourism AuthorityRichard Muscat rarely tunes in to the daily news, but while tending to his children last November, he overheard a TV newscast that stopped him. The prime minister had set aside €800,000 to launch a national research program. For the first time ever, the government allocated money to research. "Thank heavens," Muscat recalls thinking. "They have finally done it."Muscat, a neuroscientist at the University of Malta, and his colleagues had lobbied the Maltese

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Arti RaiCourtesy of Duke Law SchoolThe decades of freedom from liability for patent infringement may be over for US universities and research institutes, unless the National Research Council (NRC) gets its way. In the past, universities could use patented techniques and devices without a license, because of the so-called experimental use exemption. In other words, patents could be infringed in academic pursuits.Action in the federal courts has closed that loophole. Instead of letting universitie

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Let Them Eat Protease Inhibitors

By | June 21, 2004

Activists campaigning to get AIDS treatments and other critical medicines to poor people around the world propose radical changes in the financing of global pharmaceutical research and development. The activists suggest that the World Trade Organization (WTO) discard global intellectual property protections and replace them with incentive programs for scientists. The companies that research, design, and produce the drugs would no longer support large sales teams to persuade physicians to prescri

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The Best Places to Work in Industry

By | June 21, 2004

The formula for the best workplace: a product to be proud of, appreciative management, and trustworthy colleagues. That's the opinion of participants in The Scientist's Best Places to Work in Industry survey.Our 2004 survey aimed to define what attracts highly talented workers to a company, and what initiatives keep those workers happy once they sign on. We also asked survey participants to identify the employers who come closest to realizing these ideals.Pride in the product ranked first among

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Britain Fosters Bioincubators

By | June 7, 2004

Ned ShawIn the late 1990s, the UK Department of Trade and Industry began a program to boost highly skilled employment by financing biotechnology incubators. At the launch of the Biotechnology Mentoring and Incubator (BMI) Challenge, the United Kingdom could boast just two incubators, and as a part of the challenge the DTI awarded €4.9 million to 13 companies. The money went to incubators that provided lab space and equipment and also to organizations that provided just mentoring and manage

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Courtesy of GenentechGenentech, the first US biotechnology company, has survived ugly patent disputes, product flops, and a Big Pharma partnership to become the biotech every company wants to be. The stock market value of the company, which makes the cancer drugs Herceptin and Rituxan, rose $7 billion (US), or 12%, in a single day in April based on promising data for a new lung-cancer treatment, Tarceva. That jump came less than a year after good results for Avastin in colon cancer trials sent t

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You do it already. You spend a portion of your research hours on the here and now, a slice or two on what's to come, and a sliver on the past. What you may not do is purposefully work out what the best balance is between past, present, and future. To preclude a nighttime visit from a hooded Ghost of Projects Yet to Come, a la Dickens, take some time to analyze your present allocation.If you define present projects as everything from bench work to publication, then future projects include brainst

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By | May 24, 2004

Ned ShawImagine an entertaining evening out on the town and talking science. Sound unlikely? Not to attendees of science cafés in Europe, North America, and Australia. Perhaps these comments, collected from Australian audiences, will sway naysayers to look more closely: "I love the exchange of ideas." "Provocative and fun." "I like seeing the 'techos' come out of the closet."Science cafés aspire to promote discussion of science in a community setting. Held in venues ranging from caf

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Select-Agent Security Clearance Stymies Research

By | May 24, 2004

Courtesy of Pedro ScassaValley Fever, a pneumonia-like lung disease that strikes 50,000 people each year, has become an epidemic in southern Arizona, and John Galgiani, director of the University of Arizona's Valley Fever Center for Excellence in Tucson, wants to know why. But the research that might help this microbiologist uncover the state's Valley Fever mystery has been brought to a halt by the very agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, charged with protecting people from d

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