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Math explains HIV immunity

By | May 5, 2010

A mathematical model has revealed part of the secret to why some people linkurl:infected with HIV never get sick,;http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature08997.html providing a new target in the attempt to harness that ability in a vaccine, according to research published in __Nature.__ HIV particles (green) budding from a lymphocyte.Image: C. Goldsmith, CDC People who can control their HIV infections carry a specific subtype of the gene for the major histocompatability co

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Q&A: Why cutting science is good

By | May 5, 2010

As stimulus funds run out and other federal programs take priority over science research and development, academic research programs will soon feel the squeeze, says linkurl:Diane Auer Jones,;http://www.washcampus.edu/index.php?src=gendocs&ref=Diane%20Auer%20Jones&category=Staff%20List CEO of the Washington Campus, a non-profit business leadership and education organization, and former assistant secretary for postsecondary education at the US Department of Education. But the culling of academic

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Science ally in DC retires

By | May 5, 2010

Congressman David Obey (D-WI), who consistently championed increased funding at federal research institutions, and was instrumental in passing last year's stimulus bill (with its $10 billion for the National Institutes of Health), announced Wednesday (May 5) that he will not be seeking reelection in this fall's Congressional elections. Image: US House of Representativeslinkurl:Obey;http://www.obey.house.gov/, who served in Congress for more than 40 years, fought for increased federal funding fo

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Stem cell lines on hold

By | May 4, 2010

Three human embryonic stem cell lines once eligible for federal funding are "on hold" until further notice because they were derived from embryos that were too early. Human embryonic stem cellsImage: Wikimedia commons, Nissim Benvenisty"These lines were derived from early embryos -- those consisting of 6, 8, or 16 cells -- and thus formally did not fit the official definition of ES cells by the NIH," linkurl:George Daley,;http://daley.med.harvard.edu/ who derived these particular lines and subm

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News in a nutshell

By | May 3, 2010

RIP, sickle-cell scientistHelen M. Ranney, the first woman to head a department of medicine at a U.S. medical school, died last month at age 89. Ranney was a pioneer in the field of genetics, studying the inheritance of sickle cell disease in the early 1950s, when scientists knew little about DNA. To identify carriers of the sickle cell gene, she adapted gel electrophoresis to quickly and easily separate cells with normal hemoglobin from distorted, sickle-shaped cells, since adult carriers conta

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Texas layoffs shady: report

By | May 3, 2010

The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston and the University of Texas System (UTS) violated established and widely accepted guidelines on academic freedom and tenure when it laid off more than 2,400 faculty and staff in the wake of 2008's Hurricane Ike, according to a linkurl:report;http://www.aaup.org/NR/rdonlyres/C0EC99D4-04EB-419D-8614-5541817D4972/0/UTMBReport.pdf released today by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). Image: Wikimedia CommonsMore than 1

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Party imperils college's funding

By | April 30, 2010

As students at Portland, Oregon's Reed College ready for their annual end of the year bash, some faculty members worry that the liberal arts school may risk losing federal funding if drug problems among students at the institution persist. Image: Wikimedia Commonsoriginally uploaded by ThoricThe concern stems from a meeting held last week where federal officials apparently warned Reed President linkurl:Colin Diver;http://www.reed.edu/president/ and Vice President/Dean of Student Services linkur

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Wii-hab

By | April 30, 2010

In 2006, researcher linkurl:Marsha Melnick;http://www.therapeuticassociates.com/locations/washington/olympic-peninsula/port-angeles/marsha-melnick/ was running out of ideas for how to get her therapeutic exercise program into the living rooms of Parkinson's patients. For years, she had been trying to adapt the program, which employs clinically tested physical movements to improve gait and balance, into an accessible format for people to use at home. But the National Institutes of Health had alre

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1st pigment-making animal found

By | April 29, 2010

Aphids can make their own carotenoids -- organic pigments that serve a variety of functions in animals, but until now, were believed to be produced only by bacteria, plants, and fungi. Pea aphids with genetically baseddifferences in carotenoid content.Green and red individuals representa naturally occurring polymorphism;yellow-green individuals are mutantsderived from a red parental line.Image: Charles Hedgcock, R.B.PThe small insects appear to have acquired the carotenoid-making ability via l

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More support for transcription trick

By | April 29, 2010

After recruiting the appropriate cellular machinery, transcription factors can further regulate gene expression by encouraging that machinery to do its job -- copy the DNA into an RNA transcript. DNA PolymeraseImage: Wikimedia commons, The Protein Data Bank PDBA new study published online today (April 29) in Cell helps drive home just how widespread this second level of gene control is, and implicates a cancer-causing transcription factor as a major player in the process. "This is another piec

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