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Brain maps define diseases

By | April 15, 2009

Researchers have identified well-delineated brain networks that are linked to five distinct neurodegenerative diseases, according to a paper published in Neuron today (April 15). Image: flicker/linkurl:twitchcraft;http://www.flickr.com/photos/twitchcraft "I think our data gives researchers a road map -- hopefully a treasure map -- saying this is where we should be looking" when studying both neurodegenerative diseases and cognition in non-diseased brains, said linkurl:William Seeley,;http://w

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FDA censures lax IRB

By | April 14, 2009

A company that serves as an independent review board for clinical trials and was the center of a recent Congressional "sting operation" was linkurl:reprimanded;http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/news/2009/NEW01996.html today (April 14) by the US Food and Drug Association (FDA) for violating rules protecting research subjects. The company has agreed to freeze some of its key operations. Specifically, under pressure from the FDA, the company, Coast IRB, voluntarily agreed not to approve any new stu

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New tools tell wine's ancient tales

By | April 14, 2009

Chemical traces of medicinal herbs identified in ancient Egyptian wine jugs demonstrate that the culture employed herbal remedies 1500 years earlier than previously thought, reports linkurl:a study;http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2009/04/13/0811578106 in this week's PNAS. Yellow residue visible on a pieceof a wine vessel from about 3150 BC Image: German Archaeological Institute, Cairo The findings directly confirm the use of remedies described in a series of medical papyri written around 185

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Texas profs settle lawsuit

By | April 14, 2009

The University of Texas System linkurl:settled;http://blogs.chron.com/newswatch/2009/04/lawsuit_in_utmb_firings.html a linkurl:lawsuit;http://www.guidrynews.com/08December/33808Jaworski.pdf yesterday (Apr. 13) agreeing to give hiring priority to more than 2,400 University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) employees who were fired in the wake of Hurricane Ike, which decimated the island campus in Galveston. "There were concrete things gained here but it remains a horrible labor relations and employ

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Old ovaries, new eggs

By | April 12, 2009

Are female mammals born with all the eggs they'll ever have, or can they produce new eggs into adulthood? The question has been vociferously debated, but now, a study published online in Nature Cell Biology today (April 12) reports that at least in mice, adult female ovaries have a store of stem cells that have the potential to generate new eggs. Human oocyte Image: Wikimedia CommonsThe study "is a huge step in quelling this debate," Jonathan Tilly, a reproductive biologist at Harvard Medical

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Molly mating mystery

By | April 10, 2009

Researchers have proposed an explanation for how three species of tiny fish manage to coexist despite having seemingly incompatible modes of reproduction, according to a study published in __Oikos__ last week. The Amazon molly (__Poecilia formosa__) is an asexually reproducing species in which females produce only female clones via parthenogenesis. To initiate embryogenesis, however, Amazon mollies require sperm from the males of one of two closely related, but sexually reproducing, species sha

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Genentech pulls Raptiva

By | April 9, 2009

Genentech withdrew its psoriasis drug Raptiva from the market yesterday, citing the risk of developing progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), a rare, often fatal brain infection. The drug will be phased out by June 8 of this year, according to a statement by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The decision comes after Genentech reported a fourth case of PML diagnosed in a 47 year old man in Germany in February, and a subsequent warning by the FDA. Three other people taking Rap

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Harvard prof falsified sleep data

By | April 9, 2009

A former assistant professor at the Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston falsified and fabricated data in a study of sleep apnea, the Office of Research Integrity linkurl:reported;http://ori.dhhs.gov/misconduct/cases/Fogel.shtml last week. linkurl:Robert Fogel,;http://pulmonaryfellowship.hms.harvard.edu/NewFiles/Staff/FogelFrameset.html a pathophysiologist who worked in the Brigham's division of sleep medicine from 1998 to 2004, fiddled with approximately

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NIH and NASA ready for take-off

By | April 9, 2009

After a couple years of discussion, NIH and NASA are teaming up to send your biomedical experiments into space. The two agencies are accepting proposals for a two-phased linkurl:5-year grants;http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-09-120.html that would first give investigators $150,000 to make their lab experiments feasible in space, and then provide a follow-on $300,000 for the "flight phase." Nine NIH institutes will be participating in the grant. Experiments in space have already

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UK unis to release primate data

By | April 9, 2009

Five leading British research universities were ordered yesterday (Apr. 8) by the government to reveal information about experiments involving primates after a three-year battle with an animal rights organization. Image: flickr/thebuffafamilyThe ruling applies to Oxford, Cambridge and Manchester universities, plus University College London and King's College London. All five must now release the numbers and species of primates used in current and previous research dating back to 2004. Universit

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