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Iowa scientist stabs self?

By | May 17, 2010

University of Iowa researcher and physician Gary Hunninghake, who oversees millions of dollars in federal grants, is under investigation -- and also facing felony charges after allegedly stabbing himself, according to the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Image: Wikimedia commons, Jim KuhnHis injuries, which he claimed were a result of a robbing as he jogged along the Chicago Riverwalk on April 24, left him in critical condition, linkurl:according to The Daily Iowan.;http://www.dailyiowan.com/2010/05/12

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News in a nutshell

By | May 17, 2010

NIH grants $1B in recovery cashCoffers at the National Institutes of Health are officially $1 billion lighter after awarding recovery grants for construction, renovation, and repair projects at research institutions across the country, the agency linkurl:announced;http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2010pres/05/20100514a.html Friday (14th May). The NIH's National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) has doled out 146 such grants to facilities in 44 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. On

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Scientists brace for oil impact

By | May 17, 2010

Researchers stationed on the Gulf Coast are bracing for the oil spill's impact on long-term study sites that are likely to be disturbed -- including taking special hazardous material training just to complete scheduled data collection. Image: National Oceanographic andAtmospheric AdministrationOil gushing from British Petroleum's Deepwater Horizon well, which blew out on April 20 and has been spewing forth millions of barrels of petroleum since, has yet to make landfall in great quantities. But

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Fate-swapping cells drive deadly tumor

By | May 13, 2010

The reason melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer stems from the curious ability of all of its cells to swap fates, according to a study publishing in __Cell__ this week. MelanomaImage: National Cancer Institute"This is an important study," linkurl:David Fisher,;http://www.massgeneral.org/dermatology/doctors/doctor.aspx?id=17718 a researcher and dermatologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, said in an email. "The work [helps] to explain several key feature

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Playing doctor

By | May 13, 2010

Far far away, on the mythical world of Soma, an epic battle rages. Heroic warriors are locked in mortal combat with an army of depraved villains, hell bent on infecting the planet and wreaking awful destruction. The fate of Soma hangs in the balance.Coxiella burnettiImage: The Healing Blade, Nerdcore Learning Though Soma isn't real -- it's actually the setting for a new fantasy card game developed by two physicians/self-professed geeks -- it may help medical students learn important lessons abo

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Warming extinguishing lizards

By | May 13, 2010

The worst-case scenario of the consequences of global warming - mass extinctions - appears to be a reality for lizards, according to a new report in Science. The authors found that 12 percent of local populations of lizards have already disappeared from hundreds of sites in Mexico. Furthermore, within the next 70 years, the authors predict that 1 in 5 lizard species will no longer exist anywhere on the planet, all the result of rising global temperatures.Sceloporus occidentalisImage: Wikimedia

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DNA robots get sophisticated

By | May 12, 2010

Scientists are one step closer to creating molecular robots that may eventually perform complex tasks, such as building nanomolecules or delivering drugs to target tissues. A DNA spider follows a path on a DNAorigami scaffold towards the red-labeledgoal by cleaving the visited substrates.Image: Paul MichelottiThey have constructed DNA-based robots that can walk along a specific path unaided or collect various nanoparticles along an assembly line, according to two studies published this week in

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Biosecurity laws hobble research

By | May 10, 2010

Ever since the U.S. government has taken steps to protect and encourage research involving pathogens that could be used as biological weapons, that research has become much less efficient, according to a new analysis. Image: Wikimedia CommonsThough funding for research on so-called "select agents," or pathogens that can be used as weapons, has shot through the roof, and the number of papers using those organisms has risen in recent years, the work has become up to five times less efficient -- m

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News in a nutshell

By | May 10, 2010

Negativity, paperwork at NSFNational Science Foundation Director Arden Bement is not optimistic that the funding agency will receive the president's request for a $552 million (8 percent) budget increase in 2011. "I won't be surprised to see us operating under a continuing resolution" until well after the November congressional elections, linkurl:Bement told ScienceInsider.;http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2010/05/nsf-director-gloomy-about-2011-b.html "In fact, anything else would be a

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YouTube yields data

By | May 7, 2010

At first, the YouTube videos seemed hilarious -- young people smoking Salvia divinorum, laughing uncontrollably, falling over furniture. But the more Jason Daniel, a fourth-year PhD candidate in public health at San Diego State University, watched, the more it was simply disconcerting -- people lying on the ground, losing control of their limbs, convulsing. "They didn't look like they were having a terribly good time," says Daniel. After weeks of watching YouTube videos three to four hours per

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