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Iowa biologist falsified figures

By | November 11, 2008

Former University of Iowa molecular biologist, Jusan Yang, falsified several figures in an unpublished manuscript and at two scientific meetings, the US Public Health Service's Office of Research Integrity (ORI) linkurl:reported;http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-09-014.html last week. Yang, a postdoc in linkurl:John Engelhardt's;http://elab.genetics.uiowa.edu/ lab from 1997-2002 and an assistant research scientist in linkurl:Curt Sigmund's;http://neuroscience.grad.uiowa.edu

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Oxford opens animal lab

By | November 11, 2008

Five years after construction first started, then stopped, then started again, Oxford University's controversial animal research lab officially opened its doors today (Nov. 11). Construction of the £18 million ($28 million) linkurl:Biomedical Sciences Building;http://www.ox.ac.uk/animal_research/the_biomedical_sciences_building/index.html began in 2003, but was linkurl:suspended;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/22297/ in 2004 for 16 months after the contractors pulled out in th

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Blood vessel brakes boost tumors

By | November 10, 2008

Putting the brakes on blood vessel growth, or linkurl:angiogenesis,;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/18318/ surrounding a tumor can boost rather than stymie tumor growth, according to two papers out this week in Nature -- complicating a long-held belief in cancer biology. "Angiogenesis is very complex event and you really have to look at multiple aspects of it" when applying the biology to treatments, linkurl:Andreas Friedl,;http://www.pathology.wisc.edu/faculty/bio.aspx?name=afri

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From lizard claw to mammal hair?

By | November 10, 2008

Mammalian hair has a surprising evolutionary origin, according to a study published in __PNAS__ this week: the reptilian claw. Evolutionary biologists have long conjectured about the origin of hair -- did this defining mammalian characteristic evolve from features such as scales and feathers, or did it occur much later in mammalian evolution. "Because it's very difficult to find fossils" showing an intermediate stage between scales and hair, said first author Leopold Eckhart from the Medical

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New NIH head talks budget, priorities

By | November 10, 2008

Starting this month, a former physician took on the unenviable task of serving as the interim-director of the National Institutes of Health, assuming the reins from linkurl:Elias Zerhouni.;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/13166/ linkurl:Raynard Kington,;http://www.nih.gov/about/director/index.htm who will be acting NIH director until President-elect linkurl:Barack Obama;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/21033/ appoints a new director, served as Zerhouni's linkurl:deputy di

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New tool sheds light on cell imaging

By | November 10, 2008

In the same way it's hard to see the Milky Way in a major city, researchers sometimes struggle to see tagged structures because of natural background light emitted by cells. In this week's __Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences__, however, researchers show that a new type of tag helps separate structures from the background. Gerard Marriott, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and colleagues found that using a blinking tag made it easier to spot cellular structures in live cel

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Obama to lift stem cell ban?

By | November 10, 2008

US President-elect Barack Obama is already considering a lift on the current restrictions on embryonic stem cell research, according to a member of Obama's transition team. Yesterday, John Podesta, one of the senior members of Obama's transition team and the previous chief of staff for Bill Clinton, told Fox News Sunday that the transition team is already considering lifting current linkurl:limits on stem cell research,;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/53224/ and how Obama can lift

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Synthetic vaccine nabs iGEM prize

By | November 10, 2008

A synthetic vaccine for Helicobacter pylori designed by a team of undergraduate linkurl:students from Slovenia;http://2008.igem.org/Team:Slovenia took the grand prize this weekend at iGEM, the student synthetic biology competition organized by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "We wanted to make something with medical potential in the very near future," the team said in a presentation of their work yesterday (November 9). iGEM, the International Genetically Modified Ma

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Weight loss drugs scrapped

By | November 7, 2008

Sanofi-Aventis announced this week that it would discontinue clinical trials of its anti-obesity drug, Acomplia. The decision followed similar moves by Pfizer and Merck, who also recently abandoned development of similar weight loss drugs. Why is everyone jumping ship? The drugs all target the cannabinoid receptor CB1 -- also the target receptor for marijuana - in order to suppress appetite (read how Acomplia's mechanism of action compares with other diet drugs linkurl:here).;http://www.the-sc

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Fat chance for long life

By | November 6, 2008

Scientists have discovered a surprising link in the trade-off between reproducing and aging -- fat metabolism. A fat-burning enzyme in __Caenorhabditis elegans__ is activated after germline stem cells stop proliferating, leading to leaner and longer-lived worms, according to research published today (Nov. 6th) in__ linkurl:Science.;http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/322/5903/957 __"It has been known for a long time that there is a positive correlation between lifespan and caloric restri

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