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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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Conflicts brewing at the FDA

By | August 13, 2009

The US Food and Drug Administration's chief drug approver has been hit with allegations of a conflict of interest, and the head of the agency's division on medical devices is resigning amid claims that he was making decisions that betrayed close ties to industry.Image: FDA linkurl:Janet Woodcock,;http://www.fda.gov/ScienceResearch/SpecialTopics/CriticalPathInitiative/FacesBehindCriticalPath/ucm077470.htmthe director of FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, has apparently landed under

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Is HIV progression sex-linked?

By | August 13, 2009

A genetic variant on the X chromosome may explain why some HIV-infected women are slower to develop full-blown AIDS than men. Although several human genetic variants have been implicated in the control and spread of HIV within a host, this is the first time that a sex chromosome has been found to harbor a suspect stretch of genome related to the disease.HIV-1 budding from cultured lymphocyte Image: C. Goldsmith, courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "I think it's a fasci

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Two stem cell lines lead studies

By | August 12, 2009

In a decade of research on human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), scientists have largely depended on just two cell lines, greatly limiting the diversity of research in the budding field, according to a linkurl:survey published;http://bert.lib.indiana.edu:2146/nbt/journal/v27/n8/full/nbt0809-696.html in the August issue of Nature Biotechnology. Human embryonic stem cellsImage: Wikimedia commons/PLoS Nissim Benvenisty"It's been sort of common lore that those [two lines] have been the most widely u

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deCODE close to broke

By | August 11, 2009

Icelandic biotech deCODE Genetics may become another casualty of tough economic times. The company linkurl:announced today;http://tinyurl.com/rcf3pb (August 11) that it has only $3.8 million dollars left in its coffers -- enough to fund operations "into the latter half of the third quarter," which in Iceland runs through September. In a conference call this morning, the company said it was restructuring its business, dropping its medicinal chemistry and structural biology operations, and inste

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Avian flu promotes Parkinson's?

By | August 10, 2009

Avian influenza can cause a predisposition to Parkinson's disease, according to research linkurl:published;http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.0900096106 this week in the __Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.__ "It's an exciting finding," said linkurl:Malu Tansey;http://www.pdonlineresearch.org/members/profiles/266 from Emory University School of Medicine, who was not involved in the research. Influenza A virusImage: Wikimedia Commons, CDC, Erskine Palmer Epidemiological s

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One biotech gasps for breath

By | August 10, 2009

Around noon on a sunny Wednesday in mid-May, 25 or so employees of the Waltham, Mass-based biotech linkurl:Altus Pharmaceuticals;http://www.altus.com/ are unwrapping their offerings for a company-wide potluck; orzo salad, meatballs, curried cauliflower, chicken wings, fancy fruits, and an assortment of sweets soon cover a long table by the kitchen's window. "What is this, the last supper?" quips Nazer Khalaf, a small, round-faced man with a salt and pepper moustache, and at 15 years, Altus's mo

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Collins confirmed as NIH head

By | August 7, 2009

Geneticist Francis Collins was confirmed by the US Senate this afternoon (7th August) as the next director of the National Institutes of Health, a spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told __The Scientist__. Collins's confirmation proceeded via unanimous consent, without the need for a hearing in the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions or a roll-call vote on the Senate floor. "Dr. Collins will be an outstanding leader," said Department of Health and Human

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Stem cell fraud...again?

By | August 6, 2009

Stem cell researchers at the University of Minnesota are once again under investigation for falsifying data, linkurl:New Scientist reported;http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20327205.000-doubts-over-stem-cell-images-prompt-new-inquiry.html?DCMP=NLC-nletter&nsref=mg20327205.000 this week. Mouse embryonic stem cellsImage: Wikimedia commonsEarlier this year, New Scientist identified at least two potentially manipulated or duplicated images in a linkurl:2008 American Journal of Physiology pape

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