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Skin microbes mapped

By | November 13, 2008

Beauty may be skin deep, but our body's outer coating has an ugly side, too: microbes. Researchers reported at the __American Society of Human Genetics__ linkurl:meeting;www.ashg.org/2008meeting/ in Philadelphia today (Nov. 13) that they have drawn up a head-to-toe map of the microorganisms crawling on our skin. "The skin is two square meters of ecosystems comprised of a variety of habitats and niches, and each of these habitats harbors its own microflora," said linkurl:Elizabeth Grice,;http:/

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Texas med center to lay off 3,800

By | November 13, 2008

A day after dedicating a new facility for linkurl:pathogen research,;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55166/ the University of Texas-Galveston Medical Branch in Galveston announced yesterday (November 13) it will lay off roughly one-third of its workforce because of financial woes caused by damage from Hurricane Ike, which hit the region in September. The majority of the 3,800 employees expected to be let go by mid-January will be hospital employees, not researchers, according to Matt

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New AIDS vaccine lab for NYC

By | November 12, 2008

The world's first independent laboratory devoted solely to the development of an linkurl:AIDS;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/53516/ vaccine opens today (Nov. 12) in Brooklyn, New York. The new facility represents a new front in the effort to create an AIDS vaccine after recent, high profile clinical trial linkurl:failures;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54838/ of vaccine candidates. The linkurl:International AIDS Vaccine Initiative's;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/

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New autism loci discovered

By | November 12, 2008

Two large-scale genetic analyses have turned up a trio of new sites associated with autism, including a large-effect allele that seems to reduce the risk of developing the debilitating brain disorder, researchers reported today (Nov. 12) at the__ linkurl:American Society of Human Genetics__ meeting;http://www.ashg.org/2008meeting/ in Philadelphia. Last year, the Autism Genome Project Consortium performed the largest genome-wide linkage scan to date with around 10,000 SNPs in 1,181 families wit

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Invitrogen-ABI merger gets EU nod

By | November 11, 2008

Life science supply companies linkurl:Invitrogen Corp.;http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=61498&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1225184&highlight= and linkurl:Applied Biosystems Inc.;http://press.appliedbiosystems.com/corpcomm/applerapress.nsf/ABIDisplayPress/C40ECB8CD7236C56882574FE0064780C?OpenDocument&type=abi (ABI) announced today (Nov. 11) that their linkurl:impending merger;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55163/ has cleared its final regulatory hurdle, and that the joining of the

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Iowa biologist falsified figures

By | November 11, 2008

Former University of Iowa molecular biologist, Jusan Yang, falsified several figures in an unpublished manuscript and at two scientific meetings, the US Public Health Service's Office of Research Integrity (ORI) linkurl:reported;http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-09-014.html last week. Yang, a postdoc in linkurl:John Engelhardt's;http://elab.genetics.uiowa.edu/ lab from 1997-2002 and an assistant research scientist in linkurl:Curt Sigmund's;http://neuroscience.grad.uiowa.edu

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Oxford opens animal lab

By | November 11, 2008

Five years after construction first started, then stopped, then started again, Oxford University's controversial animal research lab officially opened its doors today (Nov. 11). Construction of the £18 million ($28 million) linkurl:Biomedical Sciences Building;http://www.ox.ac.uk/animal_research/the_biomedical_sciences_building/index.html began in 2003, but was linkurl:suspended;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/22297/ in 2004 for 16 months after the contractors pulled out in th

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Blood vessel brakes boost tumors

By | November 10, 2008

Putting the brakes on blood vessel growth, or linkurl:angiogenesis,;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/18318/ surrounding a tumor can boost rather than stymie tumor growth, according to two papers out this week in Nature -- complicating a long-held belief in cancer biology. "Angiogenesis is very complex event and you really have to look at multiple aspects of it" when applying the biology to treatments, linkurl:Andreas Friedl,;http://www.pathology.wisc.edu/faculty/bio.aspx?name=afri

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From lizard claw to mammal hair?

By | November 10, 2008

Mammalian hair has a surprising evolutionary origin, according to a study published in __PNAS__ this week: the reptilian claw. Evolutionary biologists have long conjectured about the origin of hair -- did this defining mammalian characteristic evolve from features such as scales and feathers, or did it occur much later in mammalian evolution. "Because it's very difficult to find fossils" showing an intermediate stage between scales and hair, said first author Leopold Eckhart from the Medical

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New NIH head talks budget, priorities

By | November 10, 2008

Starting this month, a former physician took on the unenviable task of serving as the interim-director of the National Institutes of Health, assuming the reins from linkurl:Elias Zerhouni.;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/13166/ linkurl:Raynard Kington,;http://www.nih.gov/about/director/index.htm who will be acting NIH director until President-elect linkurl:Barack Obama;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/21033/ appoints a new director, served as Zerhouni's linkurl:deputy di

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