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US Government Launches Biolab Building Spree

By | May 24, 2004

Courtesy of the CDCThe September 11 attacks and five anthrax-related deaths later in the fall of 2001 made it clear that the United States was vunerable to terrorist actions. Those events also caught the nation immediately short of the high-level biocontainment lab space needed to develop antibioweapon vaccines and drug treatments.Since then, the US Congress has approved plans for the National Institutes of Health to spend as much as $500 million on new biosafety space over the next few years,1

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Assessing the Agroterror Threat

By | May 10, 2004

Terrorism seems a remote threat at the 1,200-acre Arrowhead Ranch, where Clay Boscamp has run cattle for the past 40 years. The nearest urban area is Waelder, Texas, population 947, and the closest thing to a security operation is the local Neighborhood Watch. "I sure don't worry about it much," Boscamp says. "I feel pretty confident the government has made plans."The government is scrambling to make plans, and operations such as Boscamp's have not been forgotten. The Department of Homeland Secu

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How to Navigate Scientific Language

By | May 10, 2004

If writing a personal essay is a drive on Germany's Autobahn, then writing a research article is Friday evening gridlock in Manhattan. One is free-flowing and colorful with a rhythm that stirs the senses. The other is formulaic, dense, slow-moving, and grating on the nerves.Both types of writing fall under the category of nonfiction and are governed by certain rules of the road, such as grammar and truthfulness. Both can benefit from the use of a guide to style and usage; Strunk and White's The

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New Names Illumine Avian Brains

By | May 10, 2004

NOMENCLATURE NEWS:Courtesy of Anton ReinerSchematic line drawings of transverse sections of the cerebrum in pigeon (first and last) and rat (middle), showing the outdated interpretation of cerebral organization and the outdated nomenclature for birds, the established interpretation of mammalian cerebral organization and nomenclature, and the current interpretation of the organization of avian cerebrum and new nomenclature. In each schematic, the yellow region represents pallium, the turquoise re

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Pockets of Excellence in Eastern Europe

By | May 10, 2004

Courtesy of Imperial College UnionAndras Dinnyes runs the first nuclear-cell-transfer technology lab in Eastern Europe, at the Agricultural Biotechnology Center near Budapest. Amply accoutered with high-tech equipment, the lab is designed to eventually provide knockout mice for scientists across the continent. It has also attracted funding from outside sources, including the Wellcome Trust and the European Union's Sixth Framework Programme.Like a smattering of research labs with connections to W

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French Government Concedes to Researchers

By | April 26, 2004

Courtesy of Agnès Anne/LEM P7During a day of mourning marking a three-month protest by French researchers, a brass band played a requiem as a living effigy of Louis Pasteur emerged from a Paris Metro station to mourn the "death" of French science reportedly brought about by government budget cuts and belt-tightening. This ghost of Pasteur declared himself revolted by the fate of the nation's young researchers: "They will discover the drugs and vaccines of tomorrow, but they are thrown away

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Managing Academic Lab Recruitment

By | April 26, 2004

A good marketing plan is essential if you want a shot at hiring top research talent, says Maurice P. Boland, acting vice president for research at the University College Dublin. One of the most important parts of the plan starts with internal university work: building infrastructure, and lobbying nationally for funding. "It comes down to how well the applicant perceives the program they are going into, and ... the infrastructure, and how well the applicant sees the leadership from the top," Bola

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Biotechs Take on Risks to Make Drugs

By | April 12, 2004

MANUFACTURING ON A LARGE SCALE:Courtesy of Biogen IdecWorkers calibrate and monitor equipment and production processes at a large-scale manufacturing facility.Biotech companies are focusing on manufacturing after years of struggling to come up with advances in the laboratory. As biotech finance sources become available and new products continue to reach the marketplace, research companies debate whether to become manufacturers as well.For drug discovery companies, adding manufacturing to their c

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Educate Your MP

By | April 12, 2004

File PhotoIn the past, science was a fringe issue for the public. More recently, however, debates over genetically modified food crops, cloning, and stem-cell therapy have stoked public fears. Politicians often add little to the debates because they don't understand the science; in turn, scientists' reticence adds to the public's bewilderment.With so much legislation now based on scientific research, scientists need to be involved in the decision-making. "I feel very strongly that scientists hav

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NEW York-New Jersey Life Science Nirvana

By | April 12, 2004

Love it or hate it, if you want to play in the big leagues, the New York-New Jersey region is the place to be. From prestigous universities, medical centers, and research hospitals in Manhattan and Long Island, to major pharmaceutical research and manufacturing facilities in New Jersey, the region's life sciences can be characterized by such words as power-house and blockbuster.New York City alone (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx) boasts 25 academic research and medical

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