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Building better bacteria

By | August 20, 2009

Researchers from the J. Craig Venter Institute have developed a technique for generating modified strains of bacteria with novel, genetically engineered properties, they report online today (August 20) in Science. The advance could help scientists tweak microorganisms to more efficiently produce biofuels, the researchers say. Modified M. Mycoides Image: The J. Craig Venter Institute "I think it's an important and interesting advance," said linkurl:James Collins,;http://www.bu.edu/abl/ a bioen

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Human stem cell trial on hold

By | August 20, 2009

The linkurl:Geron Corporation;http://www.geron.com/ linkurl:announced on Tuesday;http://www.geron.com/media/pressview.aspx?id=1187 (August 18) that its stem cell study of spinal cord injury -- the first-ever clinical trial using human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-based therapy -- has been put on hold by the linkurl:US Food and Drug Administration;http://www.fda.gov/ (FDA) pending the review of some newly submitted animal data. Human embryonic stem cellsImage: Wikimedia commons, Nissim Benvenisty

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Virus benefits insect hosts

By | August 20, 2009

Bacteria-infecting viruses, generally thought to be harmful to their hosts, can also be surprisingly beneficial. A pea aphid Image: WikipediaA bacteriophage infecting a bacterium living in the cells and body cavity of a small, plant-eating insect protects the insect from attack by a deadly wasp predator, reports a study published online in Science today (August 20). The discovery may help create more effective methods of pest control, the authors say. "This is a wonderful paper," linkurl:Chr

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Antioxidants help cancer cells?

By | August 19, 2009

Antioxidants, often credited with an ability to protect cells from the damage that makes them turn cancerous, may actually help cancerous cells survive, says linkurl:a study;http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature08268.html published online in Nature today (August 19). Multiplying tumor cells Image: Wikipedia"The study was certainly intriguing, but how generally applicable the results are remains to be seen," linkurl:Harold Seifried;http://prevention.cancer.gov/program

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Conference kerfuffle hits scientists

By | August 19, 2009

Confusion over an upcoming cardiology conference in Shanghai has forced registered scientists and clinicians to fight for reimbursements, including one who faced more than $2000 in spurious credit card charges he suspects are related to the conference. Image: Wikimedia Commons"This is the strangest thing that I've ever been involved in -- it's very weird," said linkurl:C. Richard Conti,;http://www.medicine.ufl.edu/cardio/cr_conti.asp a professor of cardiology at the University of Florida and ed

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Controlling proteins with light

By | August 19, 2009

Researchers have devised a way to control cell movement using flashes of blue light and have used the technique to uncover the function of a protein crucial to cell motility, they report online in linkurl:__Nature__;http://www.nature.com/ today (August 19th). "This is going to promote studies of cellular behavior and even of organismal behavior," linkurl:Keith Moffat,;http://moffat.bsd.uchicago.edu/index3.html?content=people.html a University of Chicago biophysicist who was not involved with th

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Pensions for postdocs

By | August 19, 2009

Postdocs funded by the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) will soon have a better way to save for retirement. The organization this month announced the creation of an internationally portable pension plan for the 400 or so recipients of linkurl:EMBO postdoc fellowships.;http://www.embo.org/news/embo-pioneers-pension-plan-for-internationally-mobile-post-doctoral-researchers.html Image: Wikimedia CommonsIn most European countries, scientists can pay part of their salaries into a cou

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Collins prepares for budget battle

By | August 17, 2009

Francis Collins, the new director of the National Institutes of Health, said today (17th August) that making sure the NIH's newly-invigorated budget does not "drop off a cliff" once $10 billion in stimulus funding expires at the end of 2010 will be his top priority as he takes the reins of the biomedical research agency. "FY '11 battles are going to be tough," Collins said. "This is the [issue] that wakes me up in the middle of the night." After being officially sworn in as the NIH's 16th dire

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Worm glue to repair bones

By | August 17, 2009

Mimicking an adhesive naturally produced by marine worms, researchers have created a new glue that may help surgeons reconstruct shattered bone, they reported today (August 17) at the linkurl:American Chemical Society (ACS) 238th National Meeting;http://portal.acs.org/portal/acs/corg/content?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=PP_TRANSITIONMAIN&node_id=2053 in Washington, DC. Sandcastle wormImage: Russell Stewart"It's a wonderful advance," said biophysicist linkurl:Bob Baier;http://www.sdm.buffalo.edu/home.a

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Polar researchers fouling nature

By | August 14, 2009

Research stations in Antarctica are sullying the pristine environment by improperly disposing of sewage waste, reports linkurl:a study;http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/121413758/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0 published this month in Polar Research. Downtown McMurdo Station Image: Wikimedia Commons via linkurl:Flickr;http://www.flickr.com/photos/elisfanclub/tags/mcmurdo/ The study found that more than half of the research stations that operate on the continent lack sewage systems to prop

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Mettler Toledo
BD Biosciences
BD Biosciences