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Varmus to lead NCI?

By | March 18, 2010

The rumor mill surrounding Nobel Laureate linkurl:Harold Varmus;http://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/515.cfm is cranking up again, enlivened by a recent linkurl:report;http://cancerletter.com/tcl-blog/copy130_of_whats-going-on-with-nih in __The Cancer Letter__ that the biologist will be tapped by the White House to lead the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Image: Public Library of Science"Multiple sources in the federal government and outside it confirmed that the announcement appears imminent," the

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Human geneticist dies

By | March 17, 2010

Finnish-born geneticist and physician linkurl:Leena Peltonen-Palotie,;http://www.sanger.ac.uk/about/press/2010/110310.html who uncovered numerous genetic mutations behind various human diseases, passed away last week at the age of 57. Leena Peltonen-Palotie (1952-2010)Image: Academy of FinlandPeltonen-Palotie helped establish the human genetics department at the Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, held appointments at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard i

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Pregnancy helps liver?

By | March 17, 2010

Pregnancy boosts the regenerative capacity of the liver in mice, a finding that may shed light on a process entirely separate from pregnancy -- aging, researchers report in linkurl:a study;http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20231314 published this week in Genes and Development. lithograph of liver, Gray's Anatomy Image: Wikimedia CommonsThe findings are "really unexpected," said linkurl:Nikolai Timchenko,;http://www.bcm.edu/pathology/labs/timchenko/index.htm who studies liver regeneration and

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News in a nutshell

By | March 15, 2010

MIT researcher to head NSF?linkurl:Subra Suresh,;http://dmse.mit.edu/faculty/faculty/ssuresh/ dean of engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is likely to become the next director of the National Science Foundation (NSF), replacing current director Arden L. Bement, who is linkurl:stepping down;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/57136/ to head up a new program at Purdue University. Suresh is still an active researcher in the field of nanobiomechanics, making him a "rarity

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Take our 2010 Salary Survey

By | March 15, 2010

Whether you're starting a new job or discussing a raise, every negotiation starts with current salary rates -- in other words, what are your colleagues earning? Help us figure that out by completing our salary survey online today (it'll only take 5 minutes). In November -- just before your year-end reviews -- we'll publish the most current salary data for life scientists. We'll show you how linkurl:salaries compare;http://www.the-scientist.com/salarysurvey/ by life science specializations, by

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Lenin's Embalmers

By | March 12, 2010

Science might be a high stakes game, but a project's success or failure rarely determines whether the researchers undertaking it will live or die. There are, of course, some exceptions to this; say, for example, your work is funded by Joseph Stalin, and your task is to devise a way to preserve for eternity the body of Stalin's predecessor and the father of Soviet communism, Vladimir Lenin. Boris Zbarsky examines Lenin'sembalmed body, while Vladimir Vorobievand his assistant, Nadia, watch Photo

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Cow vaccine pioneer dies

By | March 11, 2010

Walter Plowright, a pioneer in the field of veterinary medicine who helped to eradicate so-called "cattle plague," rinderpest, died last month at the age of 86. Rinderpest has been considered one of the world's greatest natural disasters. In the late 1800s, rinderpest spread to Africa through India, killing an estimated 90 percent of domesticated cattle. As a result, one third of the population of Ethiopia, and two thirds of the Maasai, died due to starvation. Outbreaks in Africa continued thr

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No circ. clock for reindeer?

By | March 11, 2010

Arctic reindeer, which live most of the year in 24-hour darkness or daylight, may lack an internal clock common to most organisms, according to research published online today (March 11) in __Current Biology.__ ReindeerImage: Per Harald Olsen/WikimediaThe study found no evidence of cyclic changes in reindeer gene expression, consistent with behavioral evidence that the arctic animals do not rely on such daily rhythms. But the fact that the researchers only investigated two clock genes in one

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Cancer biotech slashes R&D

By | March 10, 2010

Cancer genomics company Exelixis announced on Monday that it would cut 270 jobs, a loss of about 40% of its workforce, with the brunt of the cuts aimed at drug discovery, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Image: Donovan Govan/WikimediaThe company, which is using genomic models of cancer to screen a massive library of compounds, estimates the layoff and subsequent restructuring will save $90 million through 2011. Last year __The Scientist__ profiled the company's linkurl:

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New model org? Cluck cluck

By | March 10, 2010

The humble chicken has provided humanity with meat, eggs, and wake-up calls for centuries, and new research probing the bird's DNA may point to an expansion of another role for the flightless fowl: biomedical model organism. Image: Michael Gäbler via Wikipedia CommonsUppsala University functional genomicist linkurl:Leif Andersson;http://www.imbim.uu.se/forskning/anderssonresearch.html and colleagues used cutting-edge sequencing technology to comb the chicken genome and identified some gene

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