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Daily News Roundup

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Is blogging for biotech?

By | January 24, 2008

Should linkurl:biotechs stake out real estate;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/15671/ in the blogosphere? This question came up at a linkurl:media panel;http://www.delawarebio.org/ I attended yesterday in Delaware, hosted by the Delaware BioScience Association. Towards the end of the session, our moderator, linkurl:Lee Marshall;http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/?front_door=true of Business Wire, posed that question to Gary Haber of The News Journal in Wilmington, linkurl:P

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New evidence for pancreatic stem cells

By | January 24, 2008

Researchers have long linkurl:debated;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/home/53256/ the presence of stem cells in the pancreas that generate insulin-producing beta cells. Now researchers have shown that beta cells are indeed produced in the adult mouse pancreas, which means the tissue must contain stem cells. The linkurl:paper,;http://www.cell.com/content/article/abstract?uid=PIIS0092867407016169, published today (January 24) in Cell, "reconciles some conflicting observations that have been aro

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Researcher loses fight for cancer samples

By | January 24, 2008

A researcher lost his legal battle with Washington University in St. Louis over the ownership of thousands of cancer tissue samples he had collected while working there. The US Supreme Court this week let stand lower court rulings that awarded ownership of the samples to the university, the Chronicle of Higher Education linkurl:reports.;http://chronicle.com/news/article/3785/university-owns-disputed-tissue-samples-supreme-court-rules linkurl:William Catalona,;http://www.the-scientist.com/artic

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Subtle cues prompt cell signals

By | January 24, 2008

If you thought that all it took to kick-start a signaling pathway was a ligand binding to a receptor, think again. How and when that binding occurs, it turns out, is what determines what happens inside the cell. In linkurl:a study;http://www.cell.com/content/article/fulltext?uid=PIIS0092867408000470 published online in Cell today, Sherry LaPorte of Stanford University and colleagues describe the structure of the Interleukin-4 and Interleukin-13 (IL-4/13) cytokines and the complete set of recept

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Fixing gene therapy trials

By | January 23, 2008

When my editor forwarded me a press release yesterday promoting a linkurl:series of articles;http://www.liebertonline.com/toc/hum/0/0 in January's issue of Human Gene Therapy on informed consent, he mentioned that the authors of those pieces were the key players in the death of an 18-year-old in a 1999 gene therapy trial that had called informed consent into question. The issue's editorial was written by James Wilson, the journal's editor-in-chief, and one of the articles was written by Univers

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Stanford denies Big Oil U. status

By | January 23, 2008

A Stanford University official has denied linkurl:allegations;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54188/ that the university's climate and energy research is influenced by its corporate sponsors. The linkurl:report,;http://cspinet.org/new/pdf/bigoilu.pdf released by Center for Science in the Public Interest accused Stanford and other major US universities of granting energy company sponsors control over research and publication. But Franklin Orr, the director of Stanford's linkurl:Global

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UK proposes strict stem cell rules

By | January 23, 2008

UK scientists are objecting to a new law that would require researchers wishing to work on embryonic stem cells to obtain consent from the cells' donors. Yesterday (January 21), 29 researchers, including three Nobel laureates, published a linkurl:letter;http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/letters/article3221046.ece in the Times arguing that while such consent should be required in the future, obtaining it retroactively for cell lines and disease-specific tissue banks already inexistence w

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1000 genome project launched

By | January 22, 2008

An international consortium linkurl:announced;http://www.1000genomes.org/ today (Jan 22) a plan to sequence at least 1000 genomes from people all over the world. "The 1000 Genome Project" seeks to assemble the most comprehensive map yet of human genetic variation. The project will be supported by the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in England, the Beijing Genomics Institute, Shenzhen (BGI Shenzhen) in China, and the National Institutes of Health's National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)

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Banned UNH prof. reinstated

By | January 22, 2008

I just got a call from John Collins, former chair of the biochemistry and molecular biology department at the University of New Hampshire, who told me that as of today he is officially reinstated as a professor. Collins had been banned from campus since last June after an incident involving another professor, and then dean of research, Stacia Sower, which you can read about linkurl:here;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53383/ and linkurl:here.;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/

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Greasing the academic wheel

By | January 22, 2008

Petrochemical companies hold too much sway over research at some US universities, according to a science watchdog group. The Center for Science in the Public Interest released a linkurl:report;http://cspinet.org/new/pdf/bigoilu.pdf yesterday (Jan 21) that surveyed a handful of major universities and found that several grant large oil corporations access to the research and publication processes in exchange for funding biofuel or other global warming-themed research program. Among these universit

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