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Diet drug duke-out

By | July 1, 2008

When you're a pharmaceutical company hoping to turn a profit on a controversial product, your work never stops, it would appear. Although, I suppose that's true of any pharmaceutical company nowadays... GlaxoSmithKline, marketers of the over-the-counter weight-loss drug alli, which we linkurl:profiled;http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2008/06/consumers_face_a_bewildering_a.html in last month's issue, is asking the FDA to force weight-loss supplement sellers to conduct clinical trials

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UK gives third hybrid embryo ok

By | July 1, 2008

British biologists have received government approval to create the world's first human stem cells from hybrid embryos, part pig, part human. The Warwick Medical School team, led by linkurl:Justin St. John;http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/med/staff/stjohn of the Clinical Sciences Research Institute, was granted the country's third animal-human embryo license from the linkurl:Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority,;http://www.hfea.gov.uk/ which goes into effect today (July 1). The team plan

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Govt settles anthrax suit

By | June 30, 2008

A former US army biodefense researcher who was a "person of interest" in the still-unsolved case of the 2001 anthrax letters and who sued the government, claiming the investigation ruined his reputation, will receive a $5.8 million settlement from the Justice Department. The FBI turned its attention on the researcher, linkurl:Steven J. Hatfill,;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/20669/ in 2002 as part of its investigation of the mysterious anthrax case that caused the death of five p

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Birds of a feather

By | June 26, 2008

In the largest ever study of bird genetics, a five-year international collaboration has redrawn the avian family tree. The report, published in Science this week (June 27), proposes surprising new classifications and suggests that environmental adaptations arose multiple times in bird history. "It's an important paper that represents a very comprehensive study," said linkurl:Larry Martin,;http://www.nhm.ku.edu/paleontology/ldmartin.htm Curator of the National History Museum at the University

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NIH funding increase stalled

By | June 26, 2008

A spending bill that would increase the National Institutes of Health 2009 budget by $1.2 billion over President Bush's linkurl:proposed NIH budget;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54277/ was sidelined by partisan wrangling in the full House Committee on Appropriations today (June 26). "[Bush's] budget would result in 6,000 medical research scientists who will no longer be able to get their research funded," said Representative linkurl:David Obey;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/di

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Stem cell patents final in US, debated in Europe

By | June 26, 2008

After three contentious stem cell patents were upheld in the US earlier this year, the debate over one of the patents continues this week in Europe. The Board of Appeal at the European Patent Office heard a dispute on Tuesday (June 24) on awarding a patent to the US stem cell technology. The technology in question is covered by one of the three patents held by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). It includes methods to culture and maintain primate embryonic stem cells derived from

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Conflict probe turns to Stanford

By | June 25, 2008

The irascible conflict of interest hunter, linkurl:Senator Charles Grassley;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54561/ (R-IA), has set his sights on a Stanford University psychiatrist who's running a federally funded clinical trial on a drug made by the same company in which he owns millions of dollars in stock. The psychiatrist is linkurl:Alan Schatzberg,;http://med.stanford.edu/profiles/Alan_Schatzberg and he is the chair of the psychiatry department at Stanford's School of Medicine. Sc

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Science nabs lying fisherman

By | June 25, 2008

A man attempting to cheat his way into a $500 prize for catching a hefty Chinook linkurl:salmon;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/12212/ was recently foiled by one of the most basic tenets of fisheries biology: if you know a fish's length, you can pretty accurately predict its weight. You see, a primary tool that fisheries biologists use to assess the health or habitat quality of different fish species or populations is what they call a linkurl:length-weight regression.;http://www.mi

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UK to boost clinical trial participation

By | June 25, 2008

The UK government will take steps to make sure patients are better informed of opportunities to participate in clinical trials, according to the country's health minister. Doctors in the UK "already have a duty to advise patients, in each patient's best interest, about all aspects of their treatment, including research," a UK Department of Health spokesperson told __The Scientist__ in an Email. But UK Secretary of State for Health linkurl:Alan Johnson,;http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/Page630

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GSK donates genomic data

By | June 24, 2008

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) linkurl:announced;http://us.gsk.com/html/media-news/pressreleases/2008/2008_us_pressrelease_10097.htm plans on Friday (June 20th), to donate genomic profiles of more than 300 cancer cell lines to the caBIG database, a government bioinformatics initiative. Data from these cell lines will be freely available to researchers around the world. The cell lines were derived from breast, prostate, lung, ovarian, and other tumors. "We hope this data will further drive the identific

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