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Epithelial cells made pluripotent

By | February 14, 2008

A team of Japanese researchers has changed epithelial cells from the livers and stomachs of adult mice into pluripotent cells that resemble embryonic stem cells, according to a linkurl:paper;http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/1154884 in this week's __Science__. In 2006, the Kyoto University team, led by linkurl:Shinya Yamanaka,;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/23254/ used retroviruses to transfect adult mouse fibroblasts and embryonic cells with four transcription factors,

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Ocean global warming tool sinks

By | February 14, 2008

A company that aimed to reduce global warming by creating blooms of carbon dioxide-absorbing phytoplankton in the ocean has sunk, linkurl:according to;http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/14/technology/14planktos.html?_r=1&oref=slogin the New York Times. The company, Planktos, posted a linkurl:statement on its Web site;http://planktos.com/ yesterday (February 13) saying that it had decided to "indefinitely postpone its ocean fertilization efforts" as a result of a "highly effective disinf

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Plant signaling gets complex

By | February 14, 2008

Last night's session (February 12) on hormones networks at the joint Keystone meeting on plant signaling and immunity in Keystone, Co, began with Charlie Chaplin. Specifically, the audience was treated to a video clip of the scene in Modern Times where Chaplin, a worker on a factory assembly line, becomes curious about the gears that drive the machinery, and to the horror of other workers, dives onto the assembly line and down the chute to explore. It was a clear metaphor for what's going on in

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Variation at the start

By | February 14, 2008

Some organisms adopt an unusual strategy to make sure the genetic code is translated accurately, according to study that will be published tomorrow in linkurl:__Molecular Cell.__;http://www.molecule.org/ These findings suggest that ancient organisms may have used different techniques to maintain accuracy in translation before settling on the predominant strategy. In most organisms, the start of translation is coded by the sequence AUG. This sequence triggers the binding of tRNA that carries t

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Harvard first to force open access

By | February 13, 2008

All papers by Harvard scholars accepted for publication as of today will be freely available to the public. The Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences unanimously passed a linkurl:motion;http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~secfas/February_2008_Agenda.pdf last night (February 12) that requires all arts and sciences faculty articles to be made publicly available. Harvard is the first US university to mandate open access to its faculty publications, Peter Suber, open access advocate, wrote on his linkurl:b

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Med school conflict policies lacking: study

By | February 12, 2008

Most US medical schools excel at keeping an eye on linkurl:conflicts of interest;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53381/ among their faculty. But they're not so good at keeping an eye on themselves, according to a study out today. In a 2006 survey of the nation's 125 accredited allopathic medical school deans, only 38 percent of survey respondents said that they had adopted institutional conflict of interest policies applicable to their institution's own financial ties. In contrast, mo

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The cell wall defense

By | February 12, 2008

What if our textbooks aren't quite correct, and the plant cell wall isn't just the purely structural organ it's thought to be? That's the theory linkurl:Shauna Somerville;http://www-ciwdpb.stanford.edu/research/research_ssomerville.php of Stanford's Carnegie Institution described yesterday (February 11) in her talk at the Keystone joint meeting on plant signaling and innate immunity in Keystone, Co. Somerville studies powdery mildew, a fungal disease that infects as many as 9,000 different spec

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Ex-NIEHS director speaks out

By | February 11, 2008

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) director David Schwartz, who officially linkurl:resigned;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54296/ from the agency last Friday, told __The Scientist__ that NIEHS "could do better" and will "be more successful" under new leadership. Schwartz also said that the environmental health community misunderstood his goals as director of NIEHS. "There was a belief that I was creating a clinical institute," he said, "when I had no intentio

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Geneticist sentenced in art case

By | February 11, 2008

A geneticist was sentenced to one year of unsupervised release (no jail time) and a $500 fine for supplying bacteria to an artist, linkurl:according to;http://www.buffalonews.com/258/story/273792.html the Buffalo News, bringing to an end a well-publicized case that began more than three years ago. Robert Ferrell, based at the University of Pittsburgh, linkurl:pled guilty in October;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53702/ to a misdemeanor, after he supplied Steven Kurtz with bacteria fo

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Lasker winner Frank Dixon dies

By | February 11, 2008

Frank Dixon, a Lasker winner and founder of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., died on Friday (February 8) of heart failure. He was 87 years old. Dixon was best known for his work showing that immunologic responses can cause harm, including kidney and cardiovascular diseases, among others. That research earned him the 1975 Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research. Dixon's colleagues remembered him as a "no-nonsense," focused scientist. Dixon was a "very severe, very toug

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Mettler Toledo
BD Biosciences
BD Biosciences