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Doggy Drug Targets Push Research Prospects

By | November 3, 2003

Getty Images When it comes to medical treatments to deworm Rover or get pain relief for arthritic Whiskers, pet owners spend generously. On average, US pet owners pay as much as $500 annually for health care for their dogs and cats. People in the 45- to 54-year-old age bracket who earn upwards of $50,000 a year have been willing to spend $935 or more annually to care for Fido and Fluffy.1 "The role that pets play in the lives of people is becoming increasingly important, as is the additional

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Getting Prevention in Government Hands

By | November 3, 2003

Getty Images The UK government is studying a proposal from its own Health Protection Agency, supported by prominent members of Parliament, to invest at least $50 million (US) in a national vaccine center capable of rapid response to large-scale bioterrorism attacks and unexpected epidemics of viral or bacterial diseases. According to Ian Gibson, head of the House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology, it is now nearly certain that the government will fund a massive expansion o

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Numbers on the Brain

November 3, 2003

Numbers on the Brain Click to view a PDF detailing figures in neuroscience (198K) function sendData() { document.frm.pathName.value = location.pathname; result = false if (document.frm.score[0].checked) result = true; if (document.frm.score[1].checked) result = true; if (document.frm.score[2].checked) result = true; if (document.frm.score[3].checked) result = true; if (document.frm.score[4].checked) result = true; if (!result) alert("Please select") return result; }

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Scientists Brave New Bioterrorism World

By | November 3, 2003

A proposal for a self-policing system to prevent terrorists from learning cutting-edge biotech information puts US life scientists face-to-face with the prospect that the broad freedoms they've traditionally enjoyed could be constricted. A National Research Council (NRC) committee formally suggested in October that scientists create a voluntary system to review all future American biotechnology experiments.1 Under the proposal, research judged too sensitive would be voluntarily moved into hig

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Uniformed Scientists Do Unique Work

By | November 3, 2003

Taxi YOU'VE COME A LONG WAY: British military medical men of a foregone era hunker down for a good peer through their microscopes. Today, military scientists are allowed to conduct independent research; in the US Navy, a junior scientist often gets his or her own lab. Most people joining the armed forces usually want to serve in a certain branch. Not Stan Cope. When he finished his doctorate in tropical medicine and infectious disease 15 years ago at the University of California, Los Ang

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DATA: Past Due

By | October 20, 2003

Ned Shaw Open your file drawer all the way, and force your fingers to pry through the folders wedged in the back. Or take down that black binder from a decade ago, labeled with the name of a student you can no longer picture. Perhaps you saved that dataset for the sparkling nugget of an unexpected finding, hoping to determine later whether it might be fool's gold or the real thing. But, in relinquishing it to the vault, it's become like mystery meat, wrapped tightly in aluminum foil inside a

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FDA Caution Tempers Race For Generic Biologics

By | October 20, 2003

Brad Fitzpatrick As the first biotech drugs begin to lose patent protection in the next few years, the US biotechnology industry is beginning to fear it will soon face price-cutting generic competition. Unlike the system for approving traditional, chemically based drugs, no regulatory process exists for the approval of generic versions of the newer bioengineered medicines. Many biotech executives had come to believe their products would enjoy monopolistic pricing even after their patents expir

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Shuttle Squeezes Science in Space Program

By | October 20, 2003

Courtesy of NASA When the space shuttle Columbia erupted into flames on re-entry, killing its crew of seven astronauts, criticism of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration grew to a fever pitch. Attackers came from all sides. Government experts wanted to know where the money was going, and science policy gurus questioned whether NASA could not better use its $15 billion (US) yearly allotment. The outcome of this debate and resultant soul-searching is especially relevant to the smal

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When Sharing Means Less for All

By | October 20, 2003

©1999 J. E. Armstrong, Illinois State University The first legally binding international agreement governing the shipment of genetically modified organisms across borders has reinvigorated critics of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The new agreement, the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, requires that the governments of signatory nations be notified when living GMOs such as crop plants are to be brought into the country with the intention of introducing them into the environ

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Berkeley Tenure Tiff Restarts GM Food Joust

By | October 6, 2003

In early June, University of California, Berkeley, assistant professor Ignacio Chapela moved his office chair to the main quad of the campus and started conducting his affairs in public. Yes, Berkeley has nice enough weather to work outside, but Chapela was not there for the sunshine. He was staging a protest to decry his lack of tenure. Chapela's protest did not last more than a few days. He returned to his air- conditioned office after getting a promise of fair treatment from the chancello

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