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Radical journal gathers support

By | February 26, 2010

The scientific community appears to be fighting to convince Elsevier to continue to publish its only non-peer-reviewed journal, after the publisher began to linkurl:consider installing a traditional peer review system;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/57121/ when the journal published a controversial paper supporting the arguments of AIDS deniers. Image: flicker/linkurl:meviola;http://www.flickr.com/photos/69659670@N00/ Despite the uproar that article created, the editor-in-chief of lin

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New neurons rewire mouse brain

By | February 25, 2010

Embryonic neurons transplanted into mice can induce a period of flexibility in a relatively rigid older brain, suggesting a possible mechanism to repair damaged brain circuits, according a study published this week in Science. Inhibitory neurons transplantedfrom the embryonic braininto the postnatal brain Image: Derek Southwell"It's terrific," said neuroscientist linkurl:Takao Hensch;http://golgi.harvard.edu/Faculty/faculty_profile.php?f=takao-hensch of Harvard University, who was not involved

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Bacteria drive electric mud?

By | February 24, 2010

Underwater mud can conduct electricity, possibly with the help of bacteria in the sediment -- a result that helps explain the large amount of electrical activity researchers have detected in ocean sediments, a linkurl:study published;http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v463/n7284/full/nature08790.html in this week's in __Nature__ reports. The finding could change how researchers think about microbes' contributions to geochemical processes. Grey, orange and white layers of mud from the Bay

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Regulatory science gets boost

By | February 24, 2010

The linkurl:National Institutes of Health;http://www.nih.gov/ (NIH) and the linkurl:US Food and Drug Administration;http://www.fda.gov/ (FDA) linkurl:announced a new collaboration;http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm201706.htm this morning (Feb 24) that will support efforts in translational and regulatory science, including a contribution of $6.75 million in regulatory research grants over the next three years. Image: Wikimedia commonsSince Margaret Hamburg took the rei

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NIH reviewers praise new rules

By | February 23, 2010

While the transition to the new shortened grant applications at the linkurl:National Institutes of Health;http://www.nih.gov/ (NIH) and the corresponding review guidelines hasn't been completely smooth, reviewers who have participated in the first few rounds of funding under the new system generally support the changes. Image: Wikimedia commons"I think it's an improvement over the old system," said linkurl:Karin Rodland,;http://www.pnl.gov/biology/staff/staff_info.asp?staff_num=5747 a researche

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British bacteriologist dies

By | February 22, 2010

Patricia Clarke, a distinguished British biochemist who deepened the field's understanding of bacterial evolution and was a role model for women in science, died last month at 90 years of age. Pseudomonas aeruginosaImage: Wikimedia Commons, CDC/Janice Haney Carr "She had always been determined to get into academia," said Barbara Banks, a physiological chemist and a former colleague at the University College London. "She was a student at Cambridge - before the days when they gave degrees to wome

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News in a nutshell

By | February 22, 2010

NIH tweaks stem cell rulesThe US National Institutes of Health on Friday (Feb 19) proposed a change to its definition of a human embryonic stem cell. Presently, stem cell lines are defined as being derived from a blastocyst-stage embryo. The proposed revision would amend that wording to "up to and including the blastocyst stage." The policy, published in the linkurl:Federal Register,;http://www.federalregister.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2010-03527_PI.pdf is open for public comment. The issue was rais

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Shuffling genes without sex

By | February 22, 2010

Researchers have discovered one way that asexually reproducing organisms maintain variation in their DNA. Female whiptail lizards can actually double their own chromosomes during meiosis, according to a study published online today in Nature. A checkered whiptail lizard Image: Peter Baumann "It's a great piece of work," said linkurl:Charles Cole,;http://www.amnh.org/science/divisions/vertzoo/bio.php?scientist=cole a herpetologist with the American Museum of Natural History in New York who was

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New head for European research

By | February 19, 2010

The European Research Council (ERC), today (February 19) elected social scientist linkurl:Helga Nowotny;http://www.helga-nowotny.eu/ as president of the agency. Nowotny, an emeritus social scientist at ETH Zurich, served as one of two vice presidents of the ERC during the tenure of its previous president, linkurl:Fotis Kafatos,;http://openwetware.org/wiki/Kafatos:Fotis_C._Kafatos who left the post last month to linkurl:pursue his research.;http://erc.europa.eu/pdf/ANNOUNCEMENT_Prof_Kafatos.pdf

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Banking on hope

By | February 18, 2010

Ten years ago, scientists discovered stem cells in the dental pulp of human teeth. Despite the fact that there are still no FDA-approved therapies using these cells, companies are emerging that charge consumers up to $1,600 to extract and store them. But is there enough scientific evidence to support this type of cellular banking? Image: Wikimedia commons, Loadmaster (David R. Tribble)"We simply don't know how useful these cells will be for tissue engineering and regeneritve medicine," said lin

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