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Animal activists hit wrong address

By | December 2, 2008

Los Angeles-based extremists who oppose the use of animals in scientific research destroyed a car, which they thought belonged to a University of California, Los Angeles, biologist linkurl:Goran Lacan.;http://www.directory.ucla.edu/search.php The arson attack, which occurred on November 20th, also badly damaged two nearby cars, but none of the cars belonged to Lacan, according to Los Angeles police. Apparently, an LAPD spokesperson told the linkurl:__Los Angeles Times__,;http://www.latimes.com

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Texas profs sue university

By | December 2, 2008

An association representing faculty members at 85 University of Texas institutions is suing university officials on behalf of more than 3,000 University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) employees given the pink slip last week in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. "[The University of Texas officials] had a predetermined agenda that had nothing to do with Ike" that included efforts to privatize universities and weaken the tenure process, Tom Johnson, executive director of the linkurl:Texas Faculty Ass

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Will arthritis thwart cane toads?

By | December 2, 2008

The wave of pesky cane toads that is spreading across the Australian landscape with a rapacious disregard for the continent's delicate ecological balance might be slowed by a complaint familiar to anyone who travels frequently: a sore back. And one cane toad biologist is suggesting that this weakness may be the key to reining in the invasive amphibian's impact on native Australian species. University of Sydney biologist linkurl:Rick Shine;http://www.usyd.edu.au/sustainable_solutions/environment

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Europe rejects stem cell patent

By | December 1, 2008

The European Patent Office (EPO) issued its final ruling last week rejecting a much-contested embryonic stem cell patent -- a decision that will likely be cheered by researchers and jeered by biotechs. The patent covered technology developed by linkurl:James Thomson,;http://ink.primate.wisc.edu/~thomson/ a University of Wisconsin researcher, to culture primate embryonic stem cells derived from pre-implantation embryos. In last week's ruling, the EPO upheld a previous decision, made last summer,

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Finding Nemo with electricity

By | November 26, 2008

Researchers have discovered an electrifying love story in the turbid rivers of the lower Congo rapids. Elephant-nosed electric fish find and recognize their mates through crackling communications, according a study published today (Nov. 25) in__ linkurl:Biology Letters.;http://publishing.royalsociety.org/index.cfm?page=1566 Campylomormyrus__ elephant-nosed fish have a specialized muscular organ that emits millivolt-strength electric signals -- too weak for humans to much notice but powerful eno

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Gut drives bone makeovers

By | November 26, 2008

The signals that tell your skeleton to lay down new bone come from an unlikely source -- your gut, according to a study published today (Nov. 26) in Cell. "This study revolutionizes how we think about the skeleton," linkurl:Cliff Rosen,;http://www.mmcri.org/cctr/rosen.html a bone biologist from Maine Medical Center Research Institute who was not involved in the research, told The Scientist. "We, as bone [researchers], thought of the skeleton as functioning independent of everything else," Ros

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Critics rip Cell paper

By | November 25, 2008

Improper citation, disregard for antecedent research, and shoddy experimentation - those are just a few of the allegations levied against a recent research paper written by a team of Stanford University scientists. One of the paper's chief critics, University of Cambridge biologist linkurl:Peter Lawrence,;http://www.mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk/PAL/ says that the problems with the publication exemplify a broader problem in scientific publishing. "There's a pressure on scientists to publish in these top j

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Even Gates feels the pinch

By | November 25, 2008

As the global economy continues to linkurl:falter;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54816/ -- taking funding opportunities and linkurl:life science companies;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55089/ with it -- even the mighty Bill Gates is tightening his belt. __The Wall Street Journal__ linkurl:reported;http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122758023670855613.html yesterday (Nov. 24) that The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which linkurl:funds;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/

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Health research call to action?

By | November 21, 2008

Ministers from more than 60 developing world nations called for urgent action to improve health research this week, although it's unclear what on-the-ground changes will actually be made. Governments should invest 2% of their linkurl:health budgets;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54025/ on research and engage further with the private sector, the ministers said at the closing event of the three-day__ linkurl:Global Ministerial Forum on Research for Health;http://www.bamako2008.org/

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PhDs (People Having Dance-offs)

By | November 21, 2008

They twirled and tangoed, somersaulted and flipped. Some interpreted their science through linkurl:hula-hoops;http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Va4zcGyYs0 set ablaze, while linkurl:others;http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zCBcghQ1rA used the beats of Notorious B.I.G. to guide their rhythmic undulations, pipette in hand. The American Association for the Advancement of Science crowned its newest linkurl:Dance Your PhD;http://gonzolabs.org/dance/ champs yesterday (Nov 20.): two graduate students, a po

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