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Genetic bias vote in Senate, finally

By | April 22, 2008

It appears that the US Senate is going to finally cast its vote on a 15-year-old bill with wide bipartisan support against genetic discrimination. According to Scientists and Engineers for America, Senator Tom Coburn has linkurl:agreed to lift his hold;http://sefora.org/2008/04/22/gina-cleared-for-a-vote-in-the-senate/ on the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, or GINA, which prevents insurers and employers from discriminating based on genetics. The bill has passed the House of Represen

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EPA whistleblower sues university

By | April 21, 2008

A University of Georgia (UGA) microbiologist and whistleblower at the Environmental Protection Agency is suing the university Board of Regents, the university research foundation, and five faculty members for accepting federal grant money to publish fraudulent research, according to court documents. David Lewis, an adjunct professor in the university department of ecology, conducted EPA-funded research in the 1990s on the harmful effects of sewage sludge, and in 1996 wrote a commentary in Natur

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Legal shield for Calif. researchers?

By | April 21, 2008

University scientists in California who use animals in their research may get some legal protection from animal rights groups, which have linkurl:attacked;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54287/ and linkurl:harassed;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54379/ researchers there in recent months. On Thursday (Apr 17) the California Assembly Judiciary Committee unanimously passed the Animal Enterprise Protection Act, a bill sponsored by the University of California system that aims t

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Legal spat over prayer study ends

By | April 21, 2008

The ongoing linkurl:legal battle;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54035/ between a fertility researcher who published a controversial 2001 linkurl:study;http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=11584476&dopt=AbstractPlus linking in vitro fertilization success to prayer and University of California, Irvine professor Bruce Flamm, who has been openly critical of that study, appears to be over for now. Los Angeles Superior Court judge James Dunn dismissed t

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A Tribute to Aldo Leopold

By | April 18, 2008

linkurl:Aldo Leopold;http://www.aldoleopold.org/ is widely considered the father of the conservation movement. This Monday (Apr21) marks the 60th anniversary of his death. He died of a heart attack at age 61 while helping a Wisconsin neighbor fight a brush fire. Leopold's lasting gift was his enunciation of what he called a "land ethic" in his classic treatise on conservation, 1949's linkurl:__A Sand County Almanac__.;http://www.amazon.com/County-Almanac-Outdoor-Essays-Reflections/dp/0345345053

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A single pathway for lung damage

By | April 17, 2008

SARS, avian flu, and other lung diseases destroy the lungs via a common mechanism, researcher report in __Cell__ today. That mechanism, based on innate immunity, could provide new targets for treating severe lung damage, the linkurl:researchers say.;http://www.cell.com/content/article/abstract?uid=PIIS0092867408003401 Joseph Penninger, from the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, and colleagues set up an intensive care unit for mice in his lab in order t

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Like frog, like mouse

By | April 17, 2008

For the first time, scientists have identified in mammals an essential mechanism used by linkurl:amphibians;http://www.the-scientist.com/2008/4/1/48/1/ to adjust to low-oxygen environments. According to a linkurl:study;http://www.cell.com/content/article/abstract?uid=PIIS0092867408002894 published today (Apr 17) in the journal __Cell__, the skin of mice can sense oxygen levels in the air and helps the rodents cope with oxygen-poor conditions. While science has long-known that epidermal gas exc

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NIH report omits specific blame?

By | April 17, 2008

Researchers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences are saying the recent NIH report on mismanagement at the agency fails to pinpoint some root causes of the problems. The linkurl:report;http://finance.senate.gov/press/Gpress/2008/prg041508a.pdf pointed out several linkurl:problems;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54554/ at NIEHS, including a failure to consider conflicts of interest among NIEHS employees, a lack of documented justifications for out-of-rank-order ext

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Researchers explore pluripotency

By | April 17, 2008

Partially or fully differentiated cells can acquire, or be reprogrammed for, stem cell-like pluripotency, according to two studies published this week. The research adds to a growing body of work on the subtleties of pluripotency, since last linkurl:November's;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53873/ landmark somatic cell reprogramming achievement. The first group, led by linkurl:Rudolph Jaenisch;http://www.wi.mit.edu/research/faculty/jaenisch.html at the Whitehead Institute, demonstr

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Tenured Nevada prof. fired

By | April 17, 2008

Last week, the University of Nevada, Reno, fired and banned from campus an animal nutrition researcher, according to a university spokesperson. Hussein Hussein, associate professor in the department of animal biotechnology, told the linkurl:Reno-Gazette Journal:;http://www.rgj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080415/NEWS02/804150342/1321/NEWS "I was fired by President (Milton) Glick and escorted from my office by campus police as if I were a criminal." Hussein also said he believed he

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