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The placental origin of HSCs

By | March 5, 2008

Hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) are generated in the placenta, before the circulatory system is fully operational, researchers report is this week's issue of linkurl:Cell Stem Cell.;http://www.cellstemcell.com/ The finding offers researchers a better shot at defining the microenvironment required to grow HSCs in vitro. Researchers have known that the placenta holds a reserve of HSCs, and had observed that when placental HSCs decline in number, the liver's reserve expands. Here, Katrin Rhodes a

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A new proposal for citation data

By | March 4, 2008

Researchers have proposed a new scheme for ranking the quality or impact of scientific journals that they say is more accurate than the Impact Factor, according to a linkurl:paper;http://www.plosone.org/article/fetchArticle.action?articleURI=info:doi/10.1371/journal published last week in PLoS ONE. Rather than relying on an average of citations to rate a journal, the system uses a mathematical model to characterize the typical number of citations that papers in specific journals are likely to r

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Farewell to pharma freebies?

By | March 4, 2008

Massachusetts may become the first state with a complete ban on pharmaceutical company freebies to doctors. The president of the Massachusetts Senate, linkurl:Therese Murray;http://www.mass.gov/legis/member/t_m0.htm (D), yesterday (March 3) filed a bill that seeks to reduce linkurl:conflicts of interest;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54300/ and healthcare costs by stemming the flow of gifts from pharmaceutical companies to doctors in the state, according to linkurl:__The Boston Globe

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Korean researcher fired for fraud

By | March 3, 2008

A South Korean scientist who once said he wanted "to become another Hwang Woo-Suk for Korea" has come ironically close to his goal. Kim Tae-kook, a bioscience professor at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in the central South Korean city of Daejeon, was suspended on Friday for fabricating data in two papers, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP). linkurl:One of the papers;http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/309/5731/121, published in Science in 2005, deve

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Submit NIH peer review notes now

By | March 3, 2008

The NIH has placed a March 17 deadline for feedback on its linkurl:final suggestions;http://enhancing-peer-review.nih.gov/meetings/NIHPeerReviewReportFINALDRAFT.pdf on how to change peer review at the agency. You can find information about how to contact the agency on its linkurl:Web site;http://enhancing-peer-review.nih.gov/ about the review process. Thanks to the linkurl:Medical Writing, Editing, and Grantsmanship blog;http://writedit.wordpress.com/2008/03/ for providing a heads up of the d

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miRNA controls skin cell growth

By | March 2, 2008

A linkurl:microRNA;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/25713/ mechanism may lie at the heart of why some skin cell growth goes unchecked, according to a paper published linkurl:today; in Nature. The authors found that one microRNA regulates the differentiation of progenitor skin cells into the stratified outer layers of the skin. linkurl:Elaine Fuchs,;http://www.rockefeller.edu/labheads/fuchs/intro.php from Rockefeller University, led the study and tracked the expression of each skin-as

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Big tobacco stubs out research money

By | February 29, 2008

Big tobacco is pulling its money out of academic research -- kind of. Tobacco company Philip Morris told researchers in September of last year that it was ending its controversial extramural research program, Science linkurl:reported;http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/319/5867/1173a today. But some funding from the company remains. The news of the ended sponsorship spread this month when University of California President Robert Dynes noted in a February 5 letter to the UC chancell

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Conflict policies raise data challenges

By | February 29, 2008

Developing policies on conflicts regarding financial interests held by US medical colleges, teaching hospitals and research institutions has proven a much thornier task than targeting conflicts among individual faculty members. Institutions "are struggling with determining how best to deal with these kinds of institutional conflicts," David Korn, point man on conflicts of interest at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), told __The Scientist__. "The uptake of those policies has

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Milestone for RNAi therapeutics?

By | February 29, 2008

A company developing therapeutics using RNA interference (RNAi) today (February 29) linkurl:announced;http://phoenix.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=148005&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1113937&highlight= positive results of a clinical trial in humans ? marking a first for the much-touted promise of RNAi-based therapies. Alnylam, based in Cambridge, Mass., exposed 88 male volunteers to respiratory syncytial virus, which affects mostly young children and the elderly. Half of the subjects received the

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Biotech claims for safer stem cells

By | February 28, 2008

A California biotech announced at the Stem Cell Summit in New York City on Tuesday that they have successfully reprogrammed human skin, kidney, and retina cells to a stem-cell-like state without using potentially cancer-causing retroviruses. But experts say their claims are impossible to evaluate since the work has not been peer-reviewed. The company researchers did not say these new cells produced teratomas -- the sign that cells are truly pluripotent. The company, PrimeGen Biotech based in

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