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Stem cell prospects dim in NJ

By | July 9, 2008

Can a New Jersey initiative that aims to tap Wall Street money reinvigorate the state's once-ambitious plans for stem cell research? The stem cell research community once had high hopes that New Jersey would become the next California or New York. But in November of last year, the state linkurl:voted against;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53843/ a linkurl:referendum;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53836/ that would have boosted stem cell research funding by $450 million. N

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Structure hints at Ebola's cunning

By | July 9, 2008

Researchers have determined the crystal structure of the Ebola virus surface protein that binds host cells, they report online today in linkurl:Nature.;http://www.nature.com/nature/index.html The findings open the door to solving the long-standing mystery of the virus's mechanism of infection and designing drugs to combat the deadly hemorrhagic fever caused by linkurl:Ebola.;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/22846/ The paper is a "breakthrough," said linkurl:Lijun Rong,;http://www.

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Nature to aid open access

By | July 8, 2008

Nature Publishing Group will begin depositing manuscripts into PubMed Central six months after publication on behalf of authors, starting later this summer, according to a release. But some open access publishing advocates say this is just a way for the publisher to maintain an embargo period, rather than making content immediately available. Earlier this year the National Institutes of Health linkurl:issued a mandate;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54028/ that required all biomedical

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Subject death halts clinical trial

By | July 8, 2008

A clinical trial for an investigational arthritis drug has been put on hold after a subject in the trial, a bodybuilding father of three with no history of heart problems, suffered two heart attacks and died, the company developing the drug linkurl:announced;http://www.medigene.de/englisch/index_e.php today (July 8). Peter Munro, 48, was participating in a Phase 1 trial for RhuDex, a compound that blocks T-cell activation to prevent inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis, at a clinic outside of

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MD biotechs queue for tax credits

By | July 7, 2008

Representatives from Maryland biotechnology start-ups made like potential contestants for __The Price is Right__ last Monday (June 30) and camped on a Baltimore sidewalk awaiting a chance at success. But these people weren't desperate to participate in the greatest game show on Earth, with a chance to win fabulous cash and prizes. They were lined up for a chance to suckle at the teat of the state's Department of Business and Economic Development, which was passing out state tax credits to biotec

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Visual system surprise

By | July 7, 2008

The soil-dwelling model organism C. elegans, long assumed to lack any visual system whatsoever, in fact appears to be strongly responsive to light, according to a linkurl:paper;http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/nn.2155.html published online yesterday (July 6) in Nature Neuroscience. The study identifies four sensory neurons that act as photoreceptor cells driving this phototaxic behavior, and suggests a conservation of phototransduction between vertebrates and worms. "The

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New FASEB head focuses on election

By | July 3, 2008

Richard Marchase, the 93rd president of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), who took office this week, said he plans to continue to focus on encouraging US voters in the upcoming November elections to consider science issues. "The upcoming Presidential election and the incoming administration present unique opportunities to highlight the importance of biomedical research on a national scale," he said in a press release. Marchase, the linkurl:vice president fo

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Ethics training for human studies?

By | July 2, 2008

All researchers conducting studies with human subjects and members of institutional review boards may soon have to undergo mandatory training in human research ethics. According to a linkurl:notice;http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/E8-14917.htm in the Federal Register yesterday (July 1), the Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) is seeking public comment on whether such training should be required. According to the notice, also reported in the linkurl:Chronicle of Higher Education,;htt

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Neuroscientist claims stolen data

By | July 2, 2008

A prominent neuroscientist is accusing two former researchers in his lab of taking data without his permission and publishing misleading interpretations of them against his wishes. linkurl:Nikos Logothetis,;http://www.kyb.mpg.de/~nikos director of the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Tubingen, Germany, says that two former researchers working in his lab took fMRI data from monkey brain scans without his permission and made misleading interpretations in a paper published this m

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Sluggish economy hits biotech

By | July 2, 2008

Not one single venture-backed US company completed an linkurl:initial public offering;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/18293/ (IPO) in the second quarter of 2008, according to a linkurl:report;http://www.nvca.org/pdf/Q2_08_Exits_Release.pdf released yesterday (July 1) by the National Venture Capital Association, and the news means that small, privately-funded biotech companies may find it difficult to stay afloat in these uncertain economic times. "Companies will either disappear or

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