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Arsenic and old...photosynthesis?

By | August 14, 2008

A previously unknown form of photosynthesis discovered in purple bacteria scooped from a Californian hot spring may be an ancient process that arose before the evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis, according to a paper published on Friday (August 15) in linkurl:Science.;http://www.sciencemag.org/ The bacteria use arsenic instead of water for photosynthesis. "It's a fundamental, exciting observation," said linkurl:Tim McDermott,;http://tbi.montana.edu/facultystaff/mcdermott.html a professor of

6 Comments

Stem cell study trouble

By | August 14, 2008

linkurl:Ethical lapses;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/54226/ and procedural breakdowns plagued an Austrian clinical trial of a linkurl:stem cell therapy;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53610/ that used patients' own cells to treat urinary incontinence, according to a report recently released by the country's Agency for Health and Food Safety (AGES). The AGES report says that urologists involved in the study engaged in a series of questionable activities: They designed th

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Genentech: No thanks, Roche

By | August 13, 2008

Roche won't be acquiring Genentech in the near future. Roche's bid to purchase the remaining public shares of the biotech company undermines the value of the company, Genentech's board of directors linkurl:announced today;http://www.gene.com/gene/news/press-releases/display.do?method=detail&id=11427 (August 13). Last month, Roche linkurl:put in a bid;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54841/ to buy up the remaining 44% of Genentech's shares it does not already own for $89 a share. A spe

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Latent HIV purged

By | August 13, 2008

New insights into how HIV becomes latent in host cells could lead the way to improved retroviral therapy, according to a report in the August issue of linkurl:__Cell Host and Microbe.__;http://www.cellhostandmicrobe.com/content/article/abstract?uid=PIIS1931312808001881 Once HIV infection occurs, the virus can integrate into actively transcribed host genes, where it becomes latent. These reservoirs of latent HIV can reactivate and continue to spread the disease after linkurl:retroviral therapy;h

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In UK, new partnership, not money

By | August 12, 2008

Five British hospitals and medical research centers are joining forces to link basic research and healthcare more closely, the University College London (UCL) announced last week. The Guardian linkurl:reported;http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/aug/07/health.highereducation?gusrc=rss&feed=politics last Thursday that the four centers "disclosed plans for a 2 billion [pound] business partnership to create the largest biomedical research organization in Europe," suggesting that new hefty fundi

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A disease cell line library

By | August 7, 2008

Researchers have created 20 disease-specific pluripotent cell lines by reprogramming skin and bone marrow cells from patients with genetic disorders, they report in a paper to be published tomorrow in Cell. "These cells will be an incredible resource for those interested in studying the root causes of these diseases," wrote linkurl:Kevin Eggan,;http://golgi.harvard.edu/Faculty/Eggan.html Harvard researcher who was not involved in the study, in an Email to The Scientist. The researchers, led by

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Does fraud mean career death?

By | August 7, 2008

If you're found guilty of plagiarism or linkurl:scientific fraud,;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/15418/ is your academic career as a researcher over? Not according to a study published in Science tomorrow (August 8), which contradicts a long-standing assumption by suggesting that rebuilding a career after a misconduct finding is difficult, but not impossible. "While the punishments [for misconduct] are severe, there are hopes for redemption," said linkurl:Jon Merz;http://www.bioe

4 Comments

Silencing HIV

By | August 7, 2008

With the help of a new mouse model for HIV infection, scientists have shown that gene silencing with RNA interference (RNAi) may be effective in preventing viral entry and replication in T-cells, according to a study published online today (August 7th) in linkurl:Cell.;http://www.cell.com/ Past studies have used RNAi to suppress HIV infection in cultured cells, but researchers did not have a good animal model simulating chronic HIV-infection in which to test the approach. Another challenge has

4 Comments

A virus's virus

By | August 6, 2008

Researchers have discovered the first virus to infect another virus, according to a study appearing tomorrow in Nature. The new virus was found living inside a new strain of the viral giant, mimivirus. "This is one parasite living on another parasite, which is really fascinating," linkurl:Michael Rossman,;http://bilbo.bio.purdue.edu/~viruswww/Rossmann_home/index.shtml microbiologist at Purdue University, who was not involved in the study, told The Scientist. linkurl:Didier Raoult;http://www.a

10 Comments

FDA rolls out new conflict rules

By | August 5, 2008

The Food and Drug Administration linkurl:unveiled;http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2008/NEW01871.html new, tougher linkurl:conflict of interest;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/24056/ rules yesterday (Aug 4). Key among the regulations was one that linkurl:prohibits;http://www.fda.gov/oc/advisory/GuidancePolicyRegs/ACWaiverCriteriaFINALGuidance080408.pdf physicians or researchers who have more than $50,000 worth of financial interests in pharmaceutical or medical device companies from

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