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Retracted: stem cell paper

By | July 29, 2009

A journal editor has linkurl:retracted;http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1089/scd.2009.0063 a linkurl:paper published this month;http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19583494?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum that showed sperm could be made from human embryonic stem cells, claiming the authors plagiarized portions of the paper. According to linkurl:ScienceInsider,;http://blogs.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2009/

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Biolab site choice flawed: report

By | July 27, 2009

A government report to be released later this week slams the plan to build a contested high security pathogen lab in Kansas, saying the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not properly evaluate the risks of conducting such research in the mainland, the linkurl:Washington Post reports.;http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/26/AR2009072602857_pf.html The report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said the idea of building the National Bio and Agro Defense F

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Food dye lessens spinal injuries

By | July 27, 2009

A synthetic blue dye commonly used in food coloring could protect damaged spinal cords from a second wave of injury brought on by inflammatory response to the damage, according to linkurl:a study;http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.0902531106 in this week's __Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.__ When a spine is crushed -- but not severed -- patients often gets worse two to three days after the initial injury, when inflammatory cells inundate the spinal cord. The immune cells

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Synthetic enzyme pioneer dies

By | July 27, 2009

Ralph F. Hirschmann, a medicinal chemist who was one of the first to synthesize an enzyme in the lab, died last week (June 20) at age 87 from renal disease complications. Image: University of Pennsylvania"He was extraordinarily forward thinking," said organic chemist linkurl:Jeff Winkler,;http://webdev.chem.upenn.edu/chem/research/faculty.php?id=39 Hirschmann's colleague at the University of Pennsylvania. "His work was really revolutionary in that he achieved things that at the time were imagin

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Airway cilia taste toxins

By | July 23, 2009

Your sense of taste doesn't end in your mouth: Cilia lining airways leading to the lungs express taste receptors and alter their undulations in the presence of bitter chemicals, says a study linkurl:published;http://www.sciencemag.org/sciencexpress/recent.dtlwebsite online today (July 23)in __Science__. These cilia are linked to signaling pathways that regulate their motility, allowing epithelial tissues in airways to sense toxins or noxious compounds and help protect the lungs. Motile cilia

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The poetryome

By | July 23, 2009

Biology is, of course, creative. Without a little non-linear thinking to dream up new conceptual approaches and methodologies, some of the best experiments ever conducted would have never left the drawing board. But when it comes to communicating scientific results -- even stunning, revolutionary ones -- the literature can be drier than chalk dust. Image: Wikimedia commons, George GastinA new project sponsored by The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) -- a UK-based organization for res

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Chimps get AIDS too

By | July 22, 2009

SIV, the simian form of HIV, causes illness in chimpanzees similar to human AIDS, despite the longstanding belief that such viruses had no effect on non-humans primates, according to a new study published this week in Nature. Image: linkurl:Flickr/belgianchocolate;http://www.flickr.com/photos/frank-wouters/10422279/ "It's definitely unexpected," said viral immunologist linkurl:Don Sodora;http://www.sbri.org/research/sodora.asp of the Seattle Biomedical Research Institute, who was not involved

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Furloughs for state school profs

By | July 22, 2009

Universities across the US are forcing their employees to take unpaid leave, effectively reducing the salary budget without reflecting pay cuts on paper. But for most researchers, who cannot easily pause their studies, what furloughs really amount to is a simple reduction in income -- the same amount of work for less money. Image: linkurl:Flickr/hoyasmeg;http://www.flickr.com/photos/emeryjl/2553639968/ "Especially in the sciences, [professors can't just stop] laboratory experiments or any ongoi

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NCI tackles trial enrollment

By | July 22, 2009

Why does it take so long to complete a clinical trial? One bottleneck that many researchers face is enrolling enough participants to make the study statistically significant. On Monday (20 July), the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid -- aka caBIG -- announced plans to team up with the Susan Love Research Foundation to create a database of 1 million women interested in participating in clinical trials via the linkurl:Army of Women;http://researchers.armyofwomen.org/

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Brain (minus machine) interface

By | July 21, 2009

Learning to use an implanted brain electrode to control a prosthetic or robotic arm might be easier than researchers thought, suggests a linkurl:study;http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pbio.1000153 published online yesterday (21 July) in PLoS Biology. Ideally, the goal of a brain-machine interface is "to control the prosthetic naturally," said lead author linkurl:Jose Carmena;http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/~carmena/ from the University of California, Berkeley. To date,

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