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Can unresponsive brains learn?

By | September 20, 2009

Brain-injured patients who show minimal to no signs of consciousness may still retain functioning brain networks that allow them to learn, researchers report in a study published online today (September 20) in Nature Neuroscience. A brain scan Image: Wikipedia"Determining cognitive processing capacity in behaviorally unresponsive patients has been a real dilemma for clinicians working in brain injury," said linkurl:Joseph Giacino,;http://www.njneuro.org/bios/giacino.asp the associate director

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Food in all its splendor

By | September 18, 2009

These days food comes to us in all manner of attractive packaging: fancy foils, bright boxes, and striking wrappers. But the plants that make up the bulk of our diets can be even more beautiful than the most cleverly designed package. This fact, often lost on modern day consumers, is celebrated in the second edition of linkurl:__The New Oxford Book of Food Plants__;http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/019954946X/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=019

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Primate study triggers lawsuit

By | September 18, 2009

A six-month dispute between a biotech company and a university primate facility it contracted for a study on spinal cord injury has prompted a linkurl:lawsuit.;http://www.the-scientist.com/supplementary/pdf/invivo_lawsuit.pdf Cambridge-based biotech linkurl:InVivo Therapeutics;http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=1&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.invivotherapeutics.com%2F&ei=1LSzSteKNY3ilAeOzuiWDw&usg=AFQjCNFGw1gG962AueRkorRoe0x_HXlcEg&sig2=b97_y1ZQCw72CDkF37NfJw filed suit against linkurl:O

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Six biologists win Nat'l Medal

By | September 18, 2009

linkurl:Francis Collins;http://www.genome.gov/10000779 and linkurl:J. Craig Venter,;http://www.jcvi.org/cms/about/bios/jcventer/ former adversaries in the race for sequencing the human genome, are two of the six life scientist who will receive the linkurl:National Medal of Science;http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/President-Honors-Nations-Top-Scientists-and-Innovators/ this year. Image: WikipediaAlso among the awardees is linkurl:Joanna Fowler,;http://www.bnl.gov/medical/Personnel/Fow

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More regulatory science: FDA chief

By | September 17, 2009

The US must bolster study on how to best craft regulations that bring drugs, medical devices and vaccines to market, the commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration stressed in a speech delivered yesterday (September 16th) in Philadelphia. linkurl:Margaret Hamburg,;http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/CommissionersPage/default.htm the former New York City health commissioner who was named FDA commissioner earlier this year, was speaking at the annual Regulatory Affairs Professional Society confe

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New role for righty molecules

By | September 17, 2009

Researchers have identified a role for rare, right-handed versions of amino acids. This so-called D-form of nature's building blocks allows bacterial cell walls to adapt to changes in the environment, says a study in Science this week -- marking one of the few times the D-aminos have been linked to biological function. Scanning electron microscope image of Vibrio cholerae Image: Wikipedia Commons"If you go back in literature dating 20-40 years ago, it was widely believed that we existed in a st

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A biotech's battle lost

By | September 16, 2009

Altus Pharmaceuticals, a 17-year-old Boston-area biotech whose struggle for survival we linkurl:profiled last month,;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55882/ will join the boneyard of companies that have not made it through the current economic crisis. Yellow stickers in the company's lab mark equipment to be sold"Very simply, we have not been able to secure financing," Georges Gemayel, Altus's CEO, told The Scientist this morning. The company announced in a linkurl:Securities and Ex

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Colorblind monkeys see new light

By | September 16, 2009

Gene therapy has successfully given colorblind adult monkeys the ability to see red and green, according to a study published this week in Nature, demonstrating a striking plasticity in the adult visual system and providing new hope for treating vision disorders that until now were thought to be incurable in adults. Monkey taking color vision testImage: Neitz Laboratory"The surprise is that you can do it with an adult animal," said neuroscientist linkurl:Jerry Jacobs;http://www.psych.ucsb.edu/

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Q&A: Hail to the chief (of staff)

By | September 15, 2009

At the beginning of September, the new director of the National Institutes of Health, linkurl:Francis Collins,;http://www.nih.gov/about/director/index.htm welcomed a friend and colleague back into the NIH fold. He named linkurl:Kathy Hudson;http://www.bioethicsinstitute.org/mshome/?ID=89 -- who had been simultaneously wearing the hats of bioethicist, geneticist and public policy guru at Johns Hopkins University -- his new chief of staff, a position that's never before formally existed at NIH. Hu

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2009 Lasker Awards announced

By | September 14, 2009

linkurl:John Gurdon;http://www.gurdon.cam.ac.uk/gurdon.html of Cambridge University and linkurl:Shinya Yamanaka;http://www.gladstone.ucsf.edu/gladstone/site/yamanaka/ of Kyoto University and the University of California, San Francisco, will share the 2009 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award for their contributions to stem cell research -- specifically, for their work in reverting adult cells to an embryonic-like state, the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation announced today (September 14).

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Mettler Toledo
BD Biosciences
BD Biosciences