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Waterbirds: A slideshow

By | October 16, 2009

Publisher, author, photographer, and civil rights advocate linkurl:Theodore Cross;http://books.wwnorton.com/books/Author.aspx?id=12249 spent a decade traversing the globe, from the waterways of the Arctic Circle to sun-drenched South Pacific islands, to compile the brilliant photographs that grace the pages of his latest tome, linkurl:__Waterbirds__,;http://www.amazon.com/Waterbirds-Theodore-Cross/dp/0393072266 due to hit bookshelves on October 26th. The 85-year-old birder chatted with __The

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Med journals adopt disclosure rules

By | October 14, 2009

Editors at leading medical journals have linkurl:agreed;http://www.icmje.org/format.pdf to adopt a new standard conflict of interest disclosure form that probes deep into the financial and nonfinancial interests of published authors. __The Lancet__, __The Journal of the American Medical Association__, __The New England Journal of Medicine__, and __The British Medical Journal__, among other medical journals, will be phasing in the more rigorous requirements over the next couple of months, accordi

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New role for pheromones?

By | October 14, 2009

Pheromones may not initiate sexual attraction and mating, as commonly believed, new research suggests. Instead, the chemical signals may help flies distinguish between different genders and species while choosing a mate, researchers linkurl:report;http://www.nature.com/nature/index.html in this week's issue of Nature. The cells in Drosophila melanogaster that produce pheromones are located in the abdomen. These 'oenocytes' are revealed by expression of a protein fluorescing green. Image: Jea

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What's dogging NYC biotech?

By | October 14, 2009

Biotech is floundering in New York City because local institutions aren't doing enough to promote commercialization of small projects, linkurl:says a new report.;http://www.nycfuture.org/content/articles/article_view.cfm?article_id=1252&article_type=0 Image: Wikipedia"The criticism," said Jonathan Bowles of the Center for an Urban Future, a New York City think tank that published the report last month, is that "for a long time [technology transfer offices] put too much emphasis on the blockbust

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Research boom in developing world

By | October 13, 2009

Science funding in developing countries grew three times more rapidly than in developed countries between 2002 and 2007, says a linkurl:report;http://www.uis.unesco.org/ev.php?ID=7793_201&ID2=DO_TOPIC released last week (October 6) from the UNESCO Institute of Statistics in Montreal, Canada. But a country-by-country analysis shows that not all developing regions consider supporting research a priority. Image: CIA World Factbook "I am delighted with the increase in funding," said linkurl:Mohame

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Frog-killing fungus clues found

By | October 12, 2009

New findings may help ecologists understand the spread of a deadly fungus decimating amphibian populations worldwide. A group of fungi called chytrids, which includes a frog-killing pathogen, dominates soil communities in otherwise relatively lifeless habitats atop mountains in the Rockies and in Nepal, where water and multi-cellular life is often scarce, researchers report. Though these assemblages did not include the infamous __Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis__ (BD), which has hammered global

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Hubbub brews for HIV vax data

By | October 12, 2009

With just a week left until the full results of the Thai HIV vaccine trial are released, researchers are raising questions about whether the linkurl:preliminary data reported last month;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55995/ reveal but a small and misleading glimpse of the full study results. Meanwhile, a major AIDS healthcare provider this morning (October 12) linkurl:called for an independent evaluation of the data.;http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS75947+12-Oct-2009+BW

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How to ID human pluripotency

By | October 11, 2009

Stem cell researchers must take more care in identifying true pluripotency in reprogrammed human cells, according to a study published online today (October 11) in Nature Biotechnology. The paper outlines strict molecular criteria for recognizing pluripotency, and warns that relying on just a single marker will muddle the field. Human embryonic stem cellsImage: Wikimedia commons, Nissim Benvenisty"All too often people in the human [stem cell] field use the most minimal criteria to call cells

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Disputed patent rules dropped

By | October 9, 2009

A two-year battle between the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and biopharma over a much-contested set of patent rules ended yesterday (October 8) when the USPTO linkurl:rescinded the rules altogether.;http://www.uspto.gov/news/09_21.jsp "These regulations have been highly unpopular from the outset and were not well received by the applicant community," said David Kappos, director of the USPTO, in a statement. "In taking the actions we are announcing [October 8], we hope to engage the ap

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Open access bill stalls in Congress

By | October 8, 2009

A bill designed to make scientific research funded by the US government's 11 largest funding bodies accessible for free by the general public is hibernating in the US legislature, awaiting some resolution in the heated health care reform debate before it can be seriously discussed by lawmakers. Congressional staffers in the US Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, where the linkurl:Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA) of 2009;http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c1

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