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NSF adopts new ethics rules

By | September 3, 2009

Starting in 2010, all researchers applying for funding from the National Science Foundation will have to provide some evidence that they will educate their students and postdocs in the responsible and ethical conduct of research. According to an linkurl:entry;http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2009/E9-19930.htm that appeared in the Federal Register late last month, the NSF will require that "each institution that applies for financial assistance from the Foundation for science and engineering resear

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Y causes sex disorders

By | September 3, 2009

The Y chromosome has a unique approach to ensuring its survival, but that self-preservation mechanism may cause a range of sexual disorders from male sterility to sex reversal, in which a person's genetic sex is opposite his anatomical development, according to a study published online today (September 3) in Cell. Tug of war during mitosis can breakthe isodicentric chromosome in twoImage: Tom DiCesare/Whitehead Institute"Every time nature solves a problem, it seems to create one," said linkurl

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Edutainment

By | September 2, 2009

One afternoon in 2007, linkurl:James Kakalios,;http://www.physics.umn.edu/people/kakalios.html a physics professor at the University of Minnesota, received a rather unexpected call. Ann Merchant, marketing director for the National Academy of Sciences, was on the line. "We've got a request for a scientist to work on a superhero. Have you heard of linkurl:Watchmen?";http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0409459/ Merchant asked. That was like asking a movie buff, "Have you ever heard of Citizen Kane?" Ka

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Epilepsy paper retracted

By | September 2, 2009

Researchers have linkurl:retracted a highly-cited 2003 Nature Genetics paper;http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/v41/n9/full/ng0909-1043.html which identified mutations underlying some types of epilepsy after discovering some blatantly erroneous results that negate the study's main finding, they report in the September issue of the journal. Generic family pedigreeImage: Wikimedia commons, Armin Kübelbeck"I think it's appalling, to be perfectly honest," said Massimo Pandolfo of the linkurl:H&#

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Mass spec business consolidated

By | September 2, 2009

A $1.1 billion deal announced today (Sept. 2) has brought an industry-leading joint venture in mass spectrometry instrumentation supply under the roof of a single manufacturing and technology company. Danaher Corporation will shell out more than $1 billion in cash for Applied Biosystems/MDS Sciex (AB SCIEX), a joint venture owned by life science tools suppliers Life Technologies and MDS Analytical Technologies. Life Technologies -- the company created by last year's merger of Invitrogen Corpora

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NIH calls for risky research

By | September 1, 2009

The National Institutes of Health is once again sounding the call for research proposals that push the innovation envelope. The agency will award nearly $93 million to about 50 biomedical researchers through two grant programs: The NIH Director's linkurl:Pioneer Awards;http://nihroadmap.nih.gov/pioneer/ will provide up to $2.5 million to more than 15 scientists at any stage of their careers, and the linkurl:New Innovator Awards;http://nihroadmap.nih.gov/newinnovator/ will provide up to $1.5 mil

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Trial registries not working

By | September 1, 2009

Clinical trial registries -- set up in the last few years to ensure trial data see the light of day -- are a long ways from correcting the problem, says linkurl:a report;http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/302/9/977?home to be published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) tomorrow (September 2). Image: Wikimedia Commons "This sort of evidence is disappointing, I think," said linkurl:Ian Roberts,;http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/people/roberts.ian a professor of epidemiology an

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One step to human pluripotency

By | August 28, 2009

Researchers have regressed human stem cells to an embryonic state using just a single transcription factor, as opposed to the four factors previously needed to induce pluripotency in human cells, according to a study published online today (August 28) in Nature. Human embryonic stem cellsImage: Wikimedia commons, Nissim Benvenisty"This is another important milestone of [stem cell] research," linkurl:Kwang-Soo Kim,;http://www.mclean.harvard.edu/about/bios/detail.php?username=kskim a stem cell r

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Cysts stall stem cell trial?

By | August 27, 2009

Just over a week after the linkurl:Geron Corporation;http://www.geron.com/ announced that the linkurl:US Food and Drug Administration;http://www.fda.gov/ (FDA) had linkurl:placed a hold on its stem cell trial;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55898/ aimed at treating patients with spinal cord injury with human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), the company linkurl:revealed a reason:;http://www.geron.com/media/pressview.aspx?id=1188 microscopic cysts. Human embryonic stem cellsImage: Wikimedi

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Gut harbors antibiotic resistance

By | August 27, 2009

The millions of microbes that crowd the human intestinal tract are teeming with new antibiotic resistance genes that could jump to disease-causing pathogens, according to researchers from Harvard University.An artist's conception of microbialecology in the gut. Pathogenic bacteria(green coats) receiving Penicillinresistance genes from beneficialgut bacteria (blue rounded chains)Image courtesy of A. Canossa, M.Sommer and G. Dantas They found more than 90 undiscovered bacterial genes capable of c

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