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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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FDA's 1st Chief Scientist speaks

By | April 16, 2008

Last week, the US Food and Drug Administration linkurl:named;http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2008/NEW01816.html cancer biologist linkurl:Frank Torti;http://www1.wfubmc.edu/canbio/Faculty/Torti+F.htm as the agency's first ever Chief Scientist. Torti, who is also the director of Wake Forest's linkurl:Comprehensive Cancer Center,;http://www1.wfubmc.edu/cancer/ will leave North Carolina and begin work early next month at the FDA. The researcher and clinician took time to talk with me and share hi

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Game, set, matching umpire calls in tennis

By | April 16, 2008

Umpires at Wimbledon, Roland Garros, and Arthur Ashe Stadium might deserve a break, according to a new linkurl:study;http://journals.royalsociety.org/content/1172753827346768 published online this week in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The study found that disputes over close calls during professional tennis matches arise because of double faults in the way information is processed in the brains of players and umpires. Nonetheless, both perceptions are remarkably accurate, though umpires ar

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Problems linger at NIEHS

By | April 16, 2008

A report from the National Institutes of Health has detailed a suite of management and ethics problems at the agency's National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. The linkurl:report,;http://finance.senate.gov/press/Gpress/2008/prg041508a.pdf which was sent to Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) yesterday (Apr 15), unearthed apparent grant funding irregularities at NIEHS. The agency awarded grants to 45 applications that had scored beyond the payline between FY 2005 and FY 2007, without docum

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Haitian clinic weathers riots

By | April 15, 2008

The Haitian HIV/AIDS linkurl:clinic;http://www.the-scientist.com/2008/3/1/42/101/ that I visited earlier this year and linkurl:wrote;http://www.the-scientist.com/2008/3/1/42/1/ about in the March issue of __The Scientist__ has resumed normal operations after linkurl:rioting;http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article3740174.ece over rising food prices rocked the capital, Port-au-Prince, last week. When I heard of the turmoil in Haiti, I e-mailed Jean Pape, the director o

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Brain-freeze reveals auditory pathways

By | April 13, 2008

The brain's sound processing areas are split into two distinct regions — one which determines what a sound is, the other which tracks where it's coming from, according to linkurl:research;http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/nn.2108.html published online today (April 13) in linkurl:Nature Neuroscience.;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54526/ For decades, scientists have racked their brains to determine how the mammalian cerebral cortex handles different types of

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