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Survey Methodology

By | March 1, 2011

Survey Methodology Survey Form: A Web-based survey form was posted at www.the-scientist.com from September 8 to November 29, 2010. Results were collected and collated automatically. Invitations: E-mail invitations were sent to readers of The Scientist and registrants on The Scientist Web site who identified themselves as nontenured life scientists working in academia, industry or noncommercial research institutions. The survey was also publicized on The Scientist

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Taking Time for Baby

By | March 1, 2011

By Bob Grant Taking Time for Baby Having a child changes everything. But it doesn’t necessarily have to disrupt your research while you’re out on leave. Alicia Timme-Laragy with baby Collin Erik Timme Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) postdoc Alicia Timme-Laragy was overjoyed at the birth of her first son, Collin, in March 2008. She had made all the preparations for his arrival and for a 10-week maternity leave from her work in the WHOI l

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Ted Cohen: Travelling for TB

By | March 1, 2011

By Amy Maxmen Ted Cohen: Travelling for TB Porter Gifford Assistant professor, Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health. Age: 37 From as early as he can remember, Ted Cohen wanted to address tangible problems. Armed with a medical degree from Duke and an MPH from the University of North Carolina, he headed north to pursue a doctorate in public health. His Harvard School of Public Health mentor, Megan Murray, introduced him to the study

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The Birds and the Bees

By | March 1, 2011

By Tim Birkhead The Birds and the Bees A recent book exposes what Darwin got wrong about sexual behavior in birds, and what his error tells us about the evolution of scientific knowledge. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2011 For more than 100 years, it was widely assumed that the majority of female birds were sexually monogamous. Charles Darwin himself seems to have started that little rumor. In 1871’s The Descent of Man, he is quite explicit: “The female, th

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The Footprints of Winter

By | March 1, 2011

By Ralf Müller and Justin Goodrich The Footprints of Winter Epigenetic marks laid down during the cold months of the year allow flowering in spring and summer. Iain Sarjeant / ISTOCKIPHOTO.COM Many plants that grow in climates with a cold winter require growth for several months at low temperatures—a process called vernalization—to promote flowering in spring, when days lengthen and temperatures increase. Without this period of cold, plants wo

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The Mark of Faith

By | March 1, 2011

By Robert E. Kingston The Mark of Faith Testing a central tenet of epigenetic regulation A fundamental problem in biology concerns how the genomic information present in fertilized eggs can give rise to the full spectrum of stably differentiated cell types required to form vertebrates and invertebrates. In the 1930s, C.H. Waddington’s largely observational mammalian embryology studies, which defined this problem, were central to establishing the field of epige

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Top 7 From F1000

By | March 1, 2011

Top 7 From F1000 3d4medical / photo researchers inc. 1. Drug helps, doesn’t hurt, lung disease » Respiratory distress syndrome patients treated with a neuromuscular blocker are more likely than those on a placebo to survive 90 days, and show no increase in muscle weakness—a common concern among doctors. L. Papazian et al., N Engl J Med, 363:1107-16, 2010. Evaluated by A. Benson & I. Douglas, Univ Colorado and Denver Health; M. Grop

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Alternative Agriculture

By | February 1, 2011

By Vanessa Schipani Alternative Agriculture The debate over genetically engineered crops rages on, but other technologies offer new hope for sustainable farming. Genetically modified soybean plants in a petri dish Bayer Cropscience AG In November 2010 a federal judge in California ordered that 256 acres of genetically engineered (GE) sugar beet seedlings be ripped from the ground. The first court-ordered destruction of GE crops in the United States, the ru

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Anne-Claude Gingras: Perfecting Proteomics

By | February 1, 2011

By Jef Akst Anne-Claude Gingras: Perfecting Proteomics Photograph by Matthew Plexman Photography Assistant professor of molecular genetics, University of Toronto, Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital. Age: 38 Anne-Claude Gingras liked science from a young age, but had never considered a career in research. Until she tried it one summer in college, that is. “The minute that I started doing experiments I realized that this is somet

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At the Tipping Point

By | February 1, 2011

By H. Steven Wiley At the Tipping Point Data standards need to be introduced—now. Andrzej Krauze There comes a time in every field of science when things suddenly change. While it might not be immediately apparent that things are different, a tipping point has occurred. Biology is now at such a point. The reason is the introduction of high-throughput genomics-based technologies. I am not talking about the consequences of the sequencing of the human g

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