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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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Bird sex gene found

By | August 26, 2009

Researchers have cracked the long-time mystery of how sex is determined in birds: A dose-dependent effect of a single gene on one of the sex chromosomes does the trick, according to a study published this week in Nature. Image: Wikimedia commons, linkurl:HerbertT;http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Take_five.jpg "It's a major advance," said physiologist and geneticist linkurl:Art Arnold;http://www.physci.ucla.edu/html/arnold.htm of the University of California, Los Angeles, who was not invo

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Safety review for obesity drug

By | August 25, 2009

The linkurl:US Food and Drug Administration;http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=1&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.fda.gov%2F&ei=4_iTSozKI4nKlAeUkPnGAg&usg=AFQjCNEC-Qs0EIMQO8U_uagEsakq0iVJIg&sig2=UIOXgDn12FgqwiQKkj4lXg linkurl:announced yesterday;http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm180057.htm (August 24) that it was reviewing reports of liver injury -- including 6 cases of liver failure and 27 hospitalizations -- in patients taking the weight loss drug orlistat, mark

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Bee calamity clarified

By | August 24, 2009

An illness that has been decimating US honeybees for more than three years probably isn't caused by a single virus, but by multiple viruses that wear down the bees' ability to produce proteins that can guard them against infection, according to a new study.Image: courtesy of Joseph Spencer "We may not have the smoking gun," University of Illinois entomologist linkurl:May Berenbaum,;http://www.life.illinois.edu/entomology/faculty/berenbaum.html the study's main author, told __The Scientist__, bu

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Four years in jail for Hwang?

By | August 24, 2009

Disgraced stem cell researcher Hwang Woo-suk may face jail time, if South Korean prosecutors have anything to do with it. The prosecutors told the Seoul court today (August 24) that fabricating research findings on human stem cell lines and misusing more than $2 million in state funds calls for a four-year prison term, linkurl:reports Reuters;http://tiny.cc/5eIME . Pro-Hwang protest at Seoul National University in February 2006Image: Wikimedia commonsAfter linkurl:suspicion was raised about Hw

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