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Bladder-builder welcomes windpipe

By | November 19, 2008

It's a big day in the consumer media, abuzz with the news that doctors linkurl:engineered a windpipe;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/daily/53878/ for a 30-year-old woman using her own stem cells, but at the offices of linkurl:Tengion,;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/daily/53878/ a Pennsylvania biotech currently building bladders using patient cells, it's just business as usual. This news "confirms what we know," said Gary Sender, chief financial officer at Tengion. "We know we are in

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Daschle to lead HHS

By | November 19, 2008

Former Senator Tom Daschle has accepted the position of Secretary of Health and Human Services, according to anonymous sources in the Democratic Party. Officials told the linkurl:Associated Press today;http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081119/ap_on_go_pr_wh/obama_health_daschle;_ylt=ArFmLtW30WaWP4EF3xoHK6sDW7oF (November 19) that Daschle has the job once his background check is complete, although no formal announcement has been made. linkurl:Speculation has been rampant;http://www.the-scientist.com

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Pharma, UK cut drug cost deal

By | November 19, 2008

The British government and the pharmaceutical industry have struck a deal to allow flexible drug pricing arrangements, a scheme which could shave millions of pounds off the total amount that the government-funded National Health Service (NHS) pays for drugs, according to the linkurl:BBC.;http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7737027.stm Under the agreement, companies can introduce new drugs to the NHS formulary at lower initial prices, with the option of charging more if the meds prove effective. T

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Politics calls neuroscientists

By | November 19, 2008

linkurl:Get involved in politics;http://www.the-scientist.com/2008/9/1/73/1/ to ensure that the new Obama administration makes research a high priority, policy makers urged researchers yesterday at the linkurl:annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.;http://www.sfn.org/am2008/ Former NIH director linkurl:Harold Varmus,;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55173/ Wendell Primus , senior advisor to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and former Congressman and lobbyist linkurl:John P

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deCODE falls from NASDAQ grace

By | November 18, 2008

The NASDAQ giveth and the NASDAQ taketh away, especially if you're a biotechnology company. While California-based linkurl:Celera Genomics;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55142/ made it onto the semi-annually updated NASDAQ Biotechnology Index (NBI), Iceland biotech linkurl:deCODE Genetics;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55089/ was booted off of the NBI after the company's stock price plunged this fall, linkurl:GenomeWeb;http://www.genomeweb.com/issues/news/150778-1.html?CMP

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Have dopamine, will travel

By | November 18, 2008

Inhibitory neurons make up about a third of the neurons in the cerebral cortex, but researchers know little about how they take their place in the developing brain. New findings suggest that their migration is controlled by a back and forth interplay between a pair of dopamine receptors, modulated by several other molecules, researchers said today (November 18) at the linkurl:annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.;http://www.sfn.org/am2008/ Neurons that respond to GABA, the main inhibi

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NIH budget bump gets Senate vote

By | November 18, 2008

In the current, lame-duck session of Congress, an economic stimulus bill introduced yesterday (Nov 17) would give the linkurl:National Institutes of Health;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55179/ a $1 billion boost for FY 2008. The legislation and its billion-dollar-NIH-bump is being applauded by the linkurl:Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology,;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/54829/ a biomedical research association, but no one involved, including the bi

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Tentacles test tenets of evolution

By | November 18, 2008

Novel genes, rather than regulatory DNA, underlie the evolution of morphological traits, according to research published today (Nov. 17) in __PLoS Biology__. The new linkurl:study;http://biology.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pbio.0060278 reports that genes found in simple freshwater animals -- but not in any other evolutionary lineage -- can drive changes in body plan, and stokes the flames of a long-standing debate among evolutionary developmental biologist

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The future of brain interfaces

By | November 18, 2008

We're writing a feature to check in on scientists working on bridging the gap between brain and machine. We're planning on asking them, "What's taking so long?" When I think of brain-machine interfaces, a couple of things come to mind: The Borg from Star Trek, whose neural implants give it the ability to communicate telepathically as well as control implanted tazers and pincers. Then there's The Matrix, where a plug in the back of the brain connects the user to an elaborate virtual world. W

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Itchy neurons fingered

By | November 17, 2008

Neurons involved in pain processing have been the subject of much research in the past decades, but neurons responsible for a more pesky problem -- itchy skin -- remain elusive. In fact, many neurons seem to be involved in itch response, a process closely linked to the processing of pain in the brain, researchers reported today at the linkurl:annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience,;http://www.sfn.org/am2008/ in Washington, D.C. To find which neurons were responsible for the itching res

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