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FDA floats new conflict policy

By | April 22, 2010

Advisers to America's top drug approval agency will have to provide more detailed information about financial interests they hold in pharmaceutical and medical device companies, the US Food and Drug Administration linkurl:announced;http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm209119.htm yesterday (21st April). The FDA grants conflict of interest waivers to some members of its 32 advisory committees, which convene to discuss food and drug safety issues, review impending approvals

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HIV aids deadly pathogen

By | April 22, 2010

Salmonella can wreak havoc in (or kill) people infected with HIV -- and not for the reason scientists have long assumed. Salmonella typhimuriumImage: Wikimedia commons, V. BrinkmannMax Planck Institute for Infection BiologyInstead, a new study in Science shows that Salmonella's ability to cause disease in HIV patients does not appear to stem from a weakened or ineffective immune system, but an overactive one that actively protects the bacteria. The findings may help direct research on developi

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T cell debate settled

By | April 22, 2010

The question of how T cells escape the thymus and enter the circulation to fight infections has finally been answered. "These findings will be taught in textbooks down the road," Kristin Hogquist from the University of Minnesota, who was not involved in the research, wrote in an email. "This is a fascinating study," she added. A T cell exiting the thymusImage: Courtesy of Jessica HuppiScientists have long wondered how T cells exit the thymus, where they mature. The thymus is threaded with both

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New front in animal rights war

By | April 21, 2010

A recent legal dispute between the University of South Dakota and an animal rights group represents a new front to the battle between scientists and animal rights groups: state open records laws. Image: Wikimedia CommonsAsociacion Animalista Libera!Specifically, activists have turned to state open records laws to obtain information about biomedical research happening at state institutions. "In addition to the federal [Freedom of Information Act], animal rights groups are also using state open

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FRPAA's back!

By | April 20, 2010

On Capitol Hill, as the dust settles from the tortured passage of healthcare reform legislation, and US lawmakers ready for a coming fracas over financial reform, a bill that would make data from almost all federally funded research available to the public within six months of publication returns to the legislature's to do list. Image: Wikimedia CommonsDavid MonniauxAccording to linkurl:GenomeWeb,;http://www.genomeweb.com/house-bill-proposes-federal-open-access-policy late last week, Representa

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Tough microbes to treat toxins?

By | April 20, 2010

Human pollutants can cause drastic decreases in microbial diversity, but the bacteria that survive the contamination may yield clues for how to remove such toxins from the environment, according to a study published in The International Society for Microbial Ecology Journal. This study suggests "that bacteria can survive in highly toxic environments," said linkurl:Mihai Pop,;http://www.cbcb.umd.edu/~mpop/ a bioinformaticist at University of Maryland, who was not involved in the research.Aircraf

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Crab shells help spinal injury?

By | April 19, 2010

Material from crushed up crab and shrimp shells can restore electrical function to damaged guinea pig spinal cords, suggesting it may one day serve as a treatment for spinal cord injuries, according to a study published April 16th in the Journal of Experimental Biology. This paper is an "intriguing first step," said linkurl:Scott Whittemore,;http://louisville.edu/kscirc/bios/dr-scott-r-whittemore.html professor of neurological surgery at the University of Louisville, who was not involved in th

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News in a nutshell

By | April 19, 2010

Overlooking the Eyjafjallajökull glacierand the ongoing volcano eruption fromHvolsvöllur on April 18th, 2010Image: Wikimedia commons, BoawormAsh axes scientific conferencesIt's not just flights that are disrupted -- the linkurl:5th European Plant Science Organisation (EPSO) conference,;http://www.epsoweb.org/event/conference/finland-2010 scheduled for April 18 through 22 above the Arctic Circle, near Muonio in Lapland, has been postponed until 2011 due to the lingering volcanic ash cloud

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Catastrophic art

By | April 16, 2010

When artists Jebney Lewis and K.R. Wood asked University of Pennsylvania mathematical biology postdoc Todd Parsons for a complex concept that needed to be communicated to the broader public, it was hysteresis: the idea that seemingly gradual change can suddenly become catastrophic. Over dinner, pad of paper and pencils in hand, the three started brainstorming ways to visually embody the slow growth and sudden collapse. Several months and many sketches later, their work is now on display as an

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NIH funding rates drop

By | April 15, 2010

Last year, the NIH funded fewer grants than it has for any year in the last nine years, and the average grant success rate -- 20.6 percent of reviewed grant applications funded among 26 institutions -- was the second lowest since 2000. Success rates are down from 21.8 percent in 2008 and only slightly higher than the 2006 ten-year low, when the NIH dispersed its funds out among only 20.0 percent of reviewed proposals. In total, 8,881 grant applications were funded last year, down from 9,460

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Mettler Toledo
Mettler Toledo
Life Technologies