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Pharma gets friendly

By | July 21, 2008

The biggest drug makers are known for cut-throat competition, not collaboration. But last week Pfizer, Merck and Eli Lilly bucked that trend, announcing the creation of a joint company called Enlight BioSciences to help fund and develop enabling technologies to speed drug development. The company, formed with the help of PureTech Ventures, a venture capital firm in Boston, will seek out and fund linkurl:inventions from academic institutions;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/54666/ aro

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Roche shifts funding priorities

By | July 21, 2008

Pharmaceutical company Roche seems to be changing up its research focus. The company is pulling the plug on its HIV research program, and today offered more than $40 billion to buy up the 44% of biotech Genentech that it does not already own. A Roche spokesperson told linkurl:Chemical & Engineering News;http://pubs.acs.org/cen/news/86/i29/8629notw7.html that there are no drugs in the company's HIV drug pipeline that warrant further development. They had been developing antiretrovirals, all of w

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More articles, fewer citations

By | July 18, 2008

As more journal articles go online, only more recent articles tend to be cited, according to a linkurl:study published today;http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/321/5887/395 in Science. In addition, only a small group of journals and articles are being cited, the study found. linkurl:James Evans,;http://sociology.uchicago.edu/people/faculty/evans.shtml a sociologist at the University of Chicago, surveyed a database of 34 million articles, their citations over the past 50 years, and t

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NIH AIDS vaccine trial nixed

By | July 17, 2008

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) announced today (July 17) that it will not conduct a trial of an HIV vaccine that its own Vaccine Research Center (VRC) developed. It was known as the PAVE 100 trial. "Based on the available scientific information, NIAID has decided that the VRC vaccine regimen did not warrant a trial of this size and scope and that PAVE 100 will not proceed," the NIAID said in a linkurl:press release;http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/news/newsreleases/20

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RNA in control

By | July 17, 2008

An ancient RNA molecule is the answer to a bacterial mystery, according to a study published in linkurl:Science;http://www.sciencemag.org/ tomorrow (July 18). Researchers have identified the binding molecule of a key messenger in bacteria, but to their surprise, the molecule was not a protein -- traditionally thought of as regulators of cellular processes -- but a unique RNA trigger. In the last six years, RNA triggers, called linkurl:riboswitches,;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/1

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Story corps for scientists

By | July 17, 2008

Nobel prize-winning geneticist linkurl:Joshua Lederberg,;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54279/ liposome pioneer and essayist linkurl:Gerald Weissmann,;http://www.med.nyu.edu/medicine/rheumatology/about/details.html?au=weissg01&info=education Lasker Prize-winning microbiologist linkurl:Carol Greider;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/24797/ -- these are only a smattering of the scientists whose thoughts, reflections, and tribulations have been recorded in oral histories as part

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Unifying journal disclosure rules

By | July 17, 2008

A science watchdog group has created a model conflict of interest disclosure linkurl:policy;http://cspinet.org/new/pdf/20080711_a_common_standard_for_conflict_of_interest_disclosure__final_for_conference.pdf that it hopes will be widely accepted by the editors of scientific and medical journals. linkurl:The Center for Science in the Public Interest;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/24056/ (CSPI) unveiled the policy last week in advance of its linkurl:"Rejuvenating public sector science";

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Forced charges for open access?

By | July 16, 2008

A surprising linkurl:new open access policy;http://www.apa.org/journals/authors/pubmed-deposit.html issued this week by the American Psychological Association (APA) is being reconsidered and will not be implemented at this time, according to a statement by the publisher. In contrast to Nature Publishing Group's announcement last week that it was taking a step toward aiding open access, the APA announced this week that it will charge authors' institutions a $2500 fee for accepted manuscripts to

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Why do clinical science grants lag?

By | July 15, 2008

Applications for grants to fund clinical studies do not fare as well in the linkurl:National Institutes of Health's peer review process;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54735/ as do those for nonclinical studies, according to an NIH report released yesterday (July 14). The linkurl:report,;http://www.amjmed.com/article/S0002-9343(08)00313-6/fulltext which was conducted by NIH's Center for Scientific Review (CSR) and appears in this month's edition of __The American Journal of Medicine_

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Grassley to APA: Open your books

By | July 14, 2008

Senator linkurl:Charles Grassley;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53381/ (R-IA), ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, issued a stark warning to the American Psychiatric Association on Thursday (July 10): Clearly outline the pharmaceutical industry's financial influence on your workings or incur my wrath! Well, maybe Grassley didn't use those __exact__ words. "I have come to understand that money from the pharmaceutical industry can shape the practices of non-profit organiza

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