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Daily News Roundup

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Salmonella vaccine lift-off

By | June 2, 2008

A space biotech company hopes its __Salmonella__ vaccine project will pave the way for other lucrative space biotech projects. The company, SPACEHAB, launched its proof-of-concept experiment as part of the space shuttle Discovery's payload on Saturday (May 31). In linkurl:April,;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54609/ I reported that SPACEHAB's CEO Tom Pickens talked up the potential for space biotech at a Congressional hearing on the future of the linkurl:International Space Station.

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Thyroid researcher dies

By | June 2, 2008

Jacob Robbins, an NIH thyroid researcher and co-discoverer of the active form of thyroid hormone, died on May 12 in Bethesda, Md, of heart failure. He was 85 years old. In the 1950s Robbins and colleague Joseph Rall, both then at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, hypothesized that levels of the thyroid hormone, thyroxine, might fluctuate in the bloodstream and found that the hormone could not be bound to any other proteins in the blood in order to be active. "It was extremely important f

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Brazil OKs stem cell research

By | May 30, 2008

Brazil's Supreme Court upheld legislation yesterday (May 28) that allows research on embryonic stem cells, according to the linkurl:Associated Press.;http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5ilSQD5t_pO3YCyS_IdsF2jLzEX2QD90VMFDOC Six of the 11 court judges voted to maintain a linkurl:2005 law;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54405/ legalizing embryonic stem cell research, and turned down a petition arguing that the law was unconstitutional because it violates the right to life. The remaining

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NIH boosts translational funding

By | May 29, 2008

The National Institutes of Health linkurl:announced;http://www.nih.gov/news/health/may2008/ncrr-29.htm plans today (May 29) to inject $533 million over the next five years into speeding up the linkurl:bench to bedside;http://www.the-scientist.com/2008/3/1/29/1/ trajectory for new treatments. The funding will go to researchers at 14 academic health centers - including Harvard University, The Scripps Research Institute, Stanford University and others - which will become part of the NIH's Clinical

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Zoo's new bloodthirsty helpers?

By | May 29, 2008

Zookeepers in England are using blood-sucking insects to collect blood samples from zoo animals, according to the linkurl:BBC.;http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/london/7425073.stm The bugs may allow routine health checks without the use of anesthetics. Rather than needles and linkurl:syringes,;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/19281/ veterinary officers at the London and Whipsnade Zoos are taking advantage of the voracious appetite of South American linkurl:kissing bugs;http

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Collins to industry, top of NIH?

By | May 28, 2008

Francis Collins told reporters at a conference call today that he'd be considering "a number of opportunities, some in the private, some in the public sector," and said he'd even consider heading up the NIH, after linkurl:announcing;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54701/ plans to step down as director of NIH's National Human Genome Research Institute. Collins said that he wouldn't be opposed to taking over the directorship of NIH should that position become available in the next year

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Francis Collins leaves NHGRI

By | May 28, 2008

The director of the NIH's National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), linkurl:Francis Collins,;http://www.genome.gov/10000779 announced today (May 28) that he will step down from his position on August 1. Collins linkurl:started;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/16074/ as NHGRI director in 1993 and led the institute through the linkurl:Human Genome Project,;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/20030415/03/ which concluded in 2003. linkurl:Robert Cook-Deegan,;http://www.genome.duk

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Pan-European biobank needed: ESF

By | May 28, 2008

Greater coordination between Europe's biobanks is "urgently needed," says a group of leading European scientists in a policy briefing linkurl:published;http://www.esf.org/research-areas/medical-sciences/news/ext-news-singleview/article/europes-biobanks-need-urgent-coordination-scientists-say-446.html yesterday (May 27) by the European Science Foundation (ESF). Europe has many large linkurl:biobanks;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/20978/ -- repositories of biological samples and oth

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Cancer genes team up

By | May 27, 2008

Scientists have long known of the tumor suppressors and oncogenes that kick-start cancer. Now researchers report that downstream genes affected by such mutations act synergistically to further promote cancer progression, according to a study published online in linkurl:Nature;http://www.nature.com/nature/index.html on Sunday (May 25). "When cells convert from normal to cancer," said Hartmut Land from the University of Rochester Medical Center, an author of the study, "you have a forest of [gen

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Want longevity? Call a friend

By | May 27, 2008

Having a social life may just be the key to linkurl:longevity,;http://www.the-scientist.com/2006/3/1/28/1/ and the effect of interacting with peers shows up even in basic molecular pathways, according to a new study from University of Iowa researchers. Though research has previously shown that animals engaging in social interaction may have longer life spans, a new linkurl:study;http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/105/21/7506 published in __PNAS__ yesterday (May 26) explores the molecular

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