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The following is a post by Eric Vance, a freelancer for Scientific American, who sent us this story. PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA -- It was perhaps the most highly touted linkurl:press conference;http://www.sciam.com/blog/60-second-science/post.cfm?id=bigfoot-press-conference-an-early-r-2008-08-15 of the week, but it didn't reveal much in the way of evidence: Three Bigfoot enthusiasts announced today that a series of genetic tests performed on samples taken from a carcass they claim is a linkurl:Sasqu

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Calif. bill to protect researchers

By | August 15, 2008

A bill that would criminalize some of the key methods used by animal rights protestors to target researchers cleared a California senate committee yesterday (Aug 14). Bill linkurl:AB 2296;http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/07-08/bill/asm/ab_2251-2300/ab_2296_bill_20080811_amended_sen_v92.html makes it a misdemeanor to enter a researcher's home or publish their personal information or that of their immediate families to encourage violent crime against them. University of California administrators ye

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Did Elsevier break its own rules?

By | August 15, 2008

A science publisher that holds copyright supreme has a double standard, a science blogger is arguing. This week, science blogger Mike Dunford of linkurl:The Questionable Authority;http://scienceblogs.com/authority/ posted a linkurl:blog;http://scienceblogs.com/authority/2008/08/reed_elsevier_caught_copying_m.php saying that Reed Elsevier had copied some of the content from his blog without permission. While checking out links to his blog, Dunford came across a page run by LexisNexis (a Reed El

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Psychiatry researcher steps down

By | August 15, 2008

Embattled Stanford psychiatrist and president-elect of the American Psychiatric Association, linkurl:Alan Schatzberg,;http://www.stanford.edu/group/adolescent.ctr/Research/schatzberg.html has resigned leadership of an NIH-funded research project studying the effects of mifepristone (also known as linkurl:RU-486);http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/10905/ on patients with depression. The drug is made by Corcept Therapeutics, a company which Schatzberg co-founded, and in which he owns mo

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A robot with a real brain

By | August 14, 2008

Researchers have introduced the world to Gordon, the first robot that operates on real brain tissue, according to a linkurl:news release;http://www.reading.ac.uk/about/newsandevents/releases/PR16530.asp from University of Reading in the UK yesterday (August 13). The robot moves only under direction from his brain, which is a collection of 50,000-100,000 rat neurons. The researchers separated the neurons from rat fetuses, cultured them, and then spread them on a nutrient-rich array panel with 6

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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

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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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