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Texas universities bombing biosafety?

By | September 19, 2007

Recent biosafety breaches have occurred at three University of Texas schools, the Chronicle of Higher Education linkurl:reports;http://chronicle.com/news/article/3051/bio-mishaps-hit-2-more-university-labs-in-texas) . At UT Austin, officials failed to report 10 out of 13 incidents that took place over the last seven years. Incidents at the other two schools both took place in April: Workers at the UT Health Sciences Center in Houston were exposed to anthrax, and at UT San Antonio to tularemia. (

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DNA barcoding in Taipei, Part 2

By | September 18, 2007

I spent Monday listening to ichthyologists and fisheries biologists discuss their efforts to barcode the planet?s fish species (an initiative called the Fish barcode of life, or linkurl:FishBOL);http://www.fishbol.org/ . During the FishBOL session, researchers discussed the issue of seafood consumer fraud, where linkurl:puffer fish;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/19997/ might be linkurl:mislabeled as monk fish;http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2007/NEW01639.html or some lesser fish

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Re-analysis raises ghosts in neuroscience

By | September 18, 2007

A news story in this week's Nature linkurl:reports;http://www.nature.com/news/2007/070910/full/449124b.html on problems with research that in the last quarter-century has spawned a controversial but influential theory in neurophysiology. According to the theory, neurotransmitter is released at the linkurl:synapse;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/15002/ in discrete vesicles, each containing approximately equal amounts of neurotransmitter, and with each synaptic bouton releasing just

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Calif. stem cell institute appoints president

By | September 17, 2007

After a linkurl:contentious;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/home/53480/ search, the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine on Friday named Australian stem cell research Alan Trounson as the new president of the institute. Trounson, director of the immunology and stem cell laboratories at Monash University, is a long-time expert in IVF and stem cell research and founder of the Australian Stem Cell Center. He has also started a handful of companies to commercialize stem cell research (a

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DNA barcoding in Taipei, Part 1

By | September 17, 2007

Spent the night talking human disease vectors with Daniel Boakye, a Ghanaian biologist (I call him a mosquito man). I'm in Taipei, Taiwan attending the 2nd International Barcode of Life Conference. What initially attracted me to the concept of linkurl:barcoding;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/22424/ is the sheer magnitude of taxonomic ignorance under which all biologists operate. Science has identified only about 1.8 million of the estimated 10 million species of plant, animal, fun

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2007 Lasker Awards announced

By | September 14, 2007

Discovery of dendritic cells, invention of prosthetic heart valves and programs in AIDS treatment and biodefense are honored linkurl:Ralph Steinman;http://www.rockefeller.edu/research/abstract.php?id=150 of the Rockefeller University in New York will receive the 2007 Albert Lasker Award for Outstanding Basic Medical Research for his discovery of dendritic cells and his work in elucidating their function as sentinels of the immune system, the linkurl:Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation;http://www

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Company: Fungus likely caused gene trial death

By | September 14, 2007

Targeted Genetics officials anticipate that the cause of death of a subject in their gene therapy clinical trial in July will be disseminated histoplasmosis -- a fungal infection -- and not connected to the trial drug, H. Stewart Parker, CEO of Targeted Genetics, told The Scientist. The finding will be announced at the Monday (September 17) National Institutes of Health Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee meeting. "We believe strongly that it's very unlikely that this drug had anything to do wi

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New chief for UK medical research?

By | September 13, 2007

According to a linkurl:news report;http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v449/n7159/full/449121a.html in today's Nature, Leszek Borysiewicz, a vaccinologist and deputy rector at Imperial College London, has been selected to become the chief executive of the UK Medical Research Council. Colin Blakemore, who has held the post since 2003, linkurl:plans;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/52932/ to step down at the end of this month. The changeover comes amidst a period of turbulence at the age

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Going anti-anti open access

By | September 12, 2007

The Association of American Publishers' campaign against open access has angered one member of an AAP division so much that he has resigned, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education. James D. Jordan, president and director of Columbia University Press, linkurl:told;http://chronicle.com/news/article/3009/university-press-leader-quit-publishers-panel-over-anti-open-access-campaign The Chronicle yesterday that he had resigned from the Executive Council of the AAP's Professional and S

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NIH and NASA firm up space plans

By | September 12, 2007

In July, The Scientist linkurl:reported;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53389/ on plans for a collaboration between NASA and NIH to conduct life science experiments aboard the International Space Station. Those plans, it seems, are taking off, with the two agencies holding a public signing at the Capitol tomorrow (Sept. 12) of a memorandum sealing the deal. The linkurl:release;http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/sep2007/od-10.htm from NIH does not specify projects for the collaboration, sayi

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