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Lab weathers storms, not concerns?

By | October 29, 2008

A high-security pathogen lab in Galveston, Texas, survived the hurricane that hit the region last month, but is now the focus of safety concerns plaguing biosafety research of late. Galveston is an island often hit by hurricanes. Ike, which hit in September, caused more than $700 million in damage to the University of Texas facilities there, about $18 million of that to research labs, Nature linkurl:reported.;http://www.nature.com/news/2008/081022/full/4551012a.html But the pathogen lab escaped

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More pharma jobs on the block?

By | October 29, 2008

Pharma giant Wyeth announced plans yesterday to eliminate research in half of its disease research areas. The company has not yet said what, if any, jobs will be cut in the process. A handful of other linkurl:pharmaceutical companies;http://www.the-scientist.com/2007/2/1/42/1/ have recently narrowed their research focus in response to linkurl:sluggish sales and the growing cost;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/54972/ of drug development. Wyeth in particular has suffered from the lo

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Editor sorry for drug cost article

By | October 27, 2008

The Web site of the student-run Harvard Health Policy Review is up and running after about a week of mysterious down time, and the journal's editor has apologized for running a controversial article without proper bias screening. linkurl:Rumors;http://www.gooznews.com/archives/001223.html circulated last week when the Review Web site was down that Harvard authorities had censored the publication of the article, which addressed a long-standing debate about the total cost for developing a drug, f

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German monkey studies nixed

By | October 27, 2008

Local lawmakers in Bremen, Germany, are refusing to renew a prominent neuroscientist's license to conduct research on primates, despite the fact that his research was approved by a national regulatory body. The University of Bremen researcher, linkurl:Andreas Kreiter,;http://www.neuro.uni-bremen.de/~brain/staff/eak.htm works with 24 macaques to measure neuronal firing as part of his studies into cognition in the mammalian brain. During local elections last year, the regional parliament, in resp

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Palin vs. the flies

By | October 27, 2008

With just over a week to go until Americans choose their next President, the McCain/Palin campaign has linkurl:again;http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=mccains-beef-with-bears lashed out at what they've called wasteful "earmark" spending on "pet projects" in the form of scientific research. This time Alaska Governor and Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin leveled the charge, and she's picked a new target: fruit fly research. "Sometimes these dollars, they go to projects having lit

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Merck moves Seattle to Boston

By | October 24, 2008

When I heard that pharmaceutical company Merck was linkurl:slashing;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55103/ more than 7,000 jobs across the company, my thoughts immediately went to Eric Schadt and his colleagues at Rosetta Inpharmatics, a Seattle-based Merck subsidiary. I linkurl:profiled;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/54801/ Schadt, who heads the company's research genetics department, in our July issue. Recent linkurl:reports;http://www.genome-technology.com/issues/blog

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New fills for funding gaps

By | October 24, 2008

David Vitrant, a PhD student in genetics at the University of Pittsburgh, thinks he's got a creative idea for alternative schemes to fund research: simply ask the public for money. He recently launched non-profit, called linkurl:FundScience,;http://fundscience.org/index.html that aims to connect researchers with potential donors. To explain why he started FundScience, Vitrant cited a number well-known to NIH-funded scientists: 42, the average age at which researchers these days receive their f

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Making mice forget

By | October 22, 2008

Manipulating the brain to over-express a protein can selectively erase short- and long-term fear memories in mice without compromising other memories or harming neurons, according to a study out this week in Neuron. The findings offer "a molecular paradigm by which we can actually erase a specific memory," linkurl:Joe Tsien,;http://www.gra.org/EminentScholarsDetail/tabid/368/xmmid/1072/xmid/193/xmview/2/school/Medical%20College%20of%20Georgia/Default.aspx a neuroscientist at the Medical Colleg

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Merck to cut jobs

By | October 22, 2008

Merck plans to eliminate 7,200 jobs by the end of 2011, according to their 2008 third quarter linkurl:financial report,;http://www.merck.com/newsroom/press_releases/financial/2008_1022.html released today. The cuts are part of ongoing restructuring efforts and come after a 28% profit plunge in the third quarter. The restructuring efforts began in 2005, and at the time the linkurl:pharmaceutical company;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/23391/ eliminated more than 10,000 jobs. The c

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Frog fungus spreads in Panama

By | October 17, 2008

A fungus that has eradicated more than 100 frog species across the globe has spread to an ecosystem in Panama that researchers hoped might hold out from infection a while longer. "The findings are a concern because it means the fungus will continue to move through eastern Panama, and we only have a [limited time] to do what we can to save the frogs, collect data, watch," linkurl:Karen Lips,;http://www.science.siu.edu/zoology/lips/ herpetologist at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, who

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