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Retinal cells see up

By | March 26, 2008

A new type of retinal cell with tree-like dendrites detects upward motion, researchers report in today's linkurl:issue;;http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v452/n7186/abs/nature06739.html of __Nature.__ The method used in the current study to detect cell subtypes may prove useful in finding molecular markers of other retinal cells, as well as brain neurons. It was a fortuitous discovery, said author Markus Meister from Harvard University. The researchers had set out to look for retinal ce

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Rumblings over Science retractions

By | March 26, 2008

The conversation is not over regarding two recent retractions of papers on enzyme engineering. Two letters linkurl:published;http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/eletters/319/5863/569b this month in Science say that the explanation of retraction issued by linkurl:Homme Hellinga's;http://www.biochem.duke.edu/faculty/homme-hellinga group at Duke University does not account for many of the errors in the original publications. The linkurl:Grantsmanship blog;http://writedit.wordpress.com/2008/02/01/science

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Tobacco sponsors tomato work, too

By | March 26, 2008

The New York Times linkurl:reported;http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/26/health/research/26lung.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&hp&adxnnlx=1206540626-U/Hi/ilxjsfY10QFkfyPCg today (March 26) that a major tobacco company -- the Liggett Group -- sponsored a controversial lung cancer study last year totaling about $3.6 million in grants. Interestingly enough, I got an Email a couple of weeks ago from linkurl:Stanton Glantz,;http://cancer.ucsf.edu/people/glantz_stanton.php University of California researcher and

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Conscientious embryo vote ok: UK

By | March 25, 2008

Labour party politicians can vote with their conscience on three "ethical" parts of the linkurl:proposed legislation;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54413/ on embryo research, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced today (March 25). The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, which has been mired in linkurl:controversy,;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54198/ proposes to legalize new areas of research, including the creation of hybrid animal-human embryos, and to refo

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HIV vaccines: Back to basics?

By | March 25, 2008

With the recent linkurl:failure;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53633/ of HIV vaccine clinical trials, the HIV/AIDS research community has resolved to concentrate more on the basic science behind the disease, shifting the main focus from vaccine product development towards immunology and virology research, they said at a meeting in Maryland held today (March 25). "We need to turn the knob towards discovery," said linkurl:Anthony Fauci,;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53845/

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Fungi-farming ants: a new phylogeny

By | March 24, 2008

Species of ants that practice a complex form of fungi agriculture developed their knack for farming about 50 million years ago and have employed several different, successful strategies to culture their crops in the intervening millennia, according to a linkurl:study;http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/0711024105v1 published in __PNAS__ today. Smithsonian Institution entomologist linkurl:Ted Schultz;http://entomology.si.edu/StaffPages/schultz.htm told __The Scientist__ that humans - who de

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Synaptic activity protects neurons

By | March 23, 2008

Chatter between neurons can help protect them from the ravages of free radical damage, according to a linkurl:report;http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/nn2071.html published today (Mar 23) in __Nature__. Free radical, or oxidative, damage besets neurons as they linkurl:age;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/13036/ normally or degenerate due to chronic disorders, such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's, or in acute events, such as strokes. University of Edinburgh neurosci

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Fired prof's racism claim rejected

By | March 21, 2008

A federal agency has told an African-American MIT stem cell researcher, who last year went on a 12-day linkurl:hunger strike;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/40634/ in to protest his tenure denial, that his claim of racial discrimination was too little, too late. According to MIT's school paper, linkurl:__The Tech__,;http://www-tech.mit.edu/V128/N8/sherley.html The US Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) rejected James Sherley's claim that the university refused him tenure ba

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Publishers ask NIH to delay open access

By | March 21, 2008

At the National Institutes of Health linkurl:open meeting;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54421/ on the new public access mandate yesterday (March 20), publishers continued to criticize the plan and called for the agency to delay implementing it. As part of the Congressional linkurl:appropriations act;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54028/ for FY2008, all articles arising from research funded by NIH funds must be submitted to PubMed Central within 12 months of publication.

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Changes to federal biotech grants?

By | March 20, 2008

The linkurl:House Committee on Small Business;http://www.house.gov/smbiz/ is calling on legislators to overhaul the federal Small Business Innovation Research linkurl:(SBIR);http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/15805/ program, which awarded more than $2 billion last year to biotech and other start-ups with promising and salable ideas or technologies. The committee is crafting legislation to reauthorize the SBIR program, which is managed by the US Small Business Administration (SBA) and i

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