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Changes to federal biotech grants?

By | March 20, 2008

The linkurl:House Committee on Small Business;http://www.house.gov/smbiz/ is calling on legislators to overhaul the federal Small Business Innovation Research linkurl:(SBIR);http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/15805/ program, which awarded more than $2 billion last year to biotech and other start-ups with promising and salable ideas or technologies. The committee is crafting legislation to reauthorize the SBIR program, which is managed by the US Small Business Administration (SBA) and i

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Flies weigh egg-laying options

By | March 20, 2008

Researchers have identified a small group of neurons in Drosophila that are key to determining how female flies choose where to lay their eggs, a study in Science reports. The neurons are part of a neural circuit that could serve as a model to probe the molecular basis of decision-making, the study's authors say. Chung-hui Yang, a postdoc in linkurl:Yuh-Nung Jan's;http://www.hhmi.org/research/investigators/janyn.html lab at the University of California, San Francisco, was intrigued by the fact

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India to protect university patents

By | March 20, 2008

The Indian government is moving towards approving a law that will create a framework for universities to patent their discoveries. Currently, ownership of innovations made through government-funded institutions belong to the Indian government, much like the situation in the US before the Baye-Dole Act was passed in 1980. That law stated that technologies developed with federal funding at a university belong to the institution. Its passing spurred universities to establish linkurl:tech transfer

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NJ med. school reaccredited

By | March 19, 2008

The embattled linkurl:University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey;http://www.umdnj.edu/ (UMDNJ) got a rare bit of good news today, when it was taken off probation and its accreditation was restored, according to linkurl:__The New York Times__.;http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/19/nyregion/19umdnj.html?ref=nyregion The Middle States Commission on Higher Education determined that the school had made sufficient progress in cleaning up its act after being on probation since June, 2006. UMDNJ pr

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Will NIH cap number of grants?

By | March 19, 2008

Last December, we asked our readers to tell us what they thought of the proposed changes to the peer review system. A number of readers linkurl:commented;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/54009/ that they would like to see a limit on the number of grants given to any one PI, noting that small labs are usually more efficient at training students and produce more publications per trainee. Indeed, limiting the number of NIH grants to five per principal investigator was one of the recommen

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Egg yolk gene loss was mammals' gain

By | March 18, 2008

Mammals lost their egg yolk genes after acquiring genes for milk proteins, according to a linkurl:study;http://biology.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pbio.0060063/ published yesterday in PLoS Biology. The results pinpoint an important step in how mammals evolved, the authors say. Lactation is "what makes us mammals, basically," said linkurl:Henrik Kaessmann,;http://www.unil.ch/cig/page7858_en.html/ who led the study. "Using egg yolk genes as markers, we foun

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First Lady visits Haiti

By | March 18, 2008

Laura Bush was in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, last week, and she visited the GHESKIO HIV/AIDS clinic, which I linkurl:visited;http://www.the-scientist.com/2008/3/1/42/101/ this past January for an linkurl:article;http://www.the-scientist.com/2008/3/1/42/1/ on implementation research in our March issue. Bush was there drumming up support for linkurl:The United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief;http://www.pepfar.gov/ (PEPFAR), according to linkurl:__The Boston Globe__.;http://www.boston

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Publishing bias out of the bottle

By | March 18, 2008

Tomáš Grim, an ornithologist at Palacky University in the notoriously linkurl:beer;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/25122/ besotted Czech Republic, came down with a bad case of mononucleosis in 1999. His illness prohibited him from drinking for about a year. Soon after he recovered, he began publishing papers in more high profile scientific journals, such as Proceedings of the Royal Society B and Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. Grim's new-found prolificacy on the heels

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Peer review dig denied by court

By | March 17, 2008

A federal judge in Chicago last Friday denied Pfizer's efforts to obtain confidential linkurl:peer review;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/23061/ documents related to two of its drugs from the New England Journal of Medicine, stating that any benefits of disclosing the subpoenaed documents would be "outweighed by the burden and harm that would result" to the journal. In January, Pfizer filed a linkurl:motion;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54368/ to force the NEJM to hand

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EPA cutbacks hurt science: Congress

By | March 14, 2008

The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) linkurl:closure;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/27334/ of several of its research libraries is flawed, unjustified and is depriving academics, government employees, and the public of crucial environmental data, according to a Congressional report released yesterday (Mar. 13). Of the EPA's 26 libraries, six libraries have changed their hours of operation, and four others have been shut since 2006. These include its Office of Environmental Inf

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