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Med schools failing on conflicts?

By | June 4, 2008

A new report from the linkurl:American Medical Student Association;http://www.amsa.org/ (AMSA) paints a gloomy picture of how US medical schools are failing to craft policies that keep the pharmaceutical industry at arm's length. The AMSA's linkurl:PharmFree Scorecard 2008,;http://www.amsascorecard.org/ released yesterday (June 3), surveyed 150 medical school's across the country, asking about the institutions' policies to limit linkurl:conflicts of interest;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/di

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Policies stymie stem cell progress

By | June 4, 2008

A new study confirms a seemingly obvious assumption about human embryonic stem cell research: Countries with fewer restrictions on research outperform countries with more restrictions. But the picture may be more complex than that, according to some experts. The article, published linkurl:online;http://www.cellstemcell.com/content/article/abstract?uid=PIIS1934590908002221 today (June 4) in Cell Stem Cell by linkurl:Aaron Levine;http://www.aarondlevine.net/ at the Georgia Institute of Technology

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AIDS vaccine trial set to start

By | June 3, 2008

The US government is poised to start a new AIDS vaccine trial, prompting some to caution that it is too soon to initiate such studies after a linkurl:Merck vaccine;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53633/ not only failed to show effectiveness but also may have increased participants' HIV infection rate. Late last week, the NIH's linkurl:AIDS Vaccine Research Subcommittee;http://www3.niaid.nih.gov/research/topics/HIV/vaccines/advisory/avrs/ voted 23-3 in favor of beginning the PAVE 100 H

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Good tenure news, for a change

By | June 3, 2008

Some of you may remember Aleister Saunders, the Alzheimer's researcher at Drexel University in Philadelphia who was kind enough to open up about the difficult process he went through to apply for tenure. (You can read his story in our linkurl:September, 2007 feature;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/daily/53499/ about tenure.) Well, his hard work paid off. He emailed me to say he was awarded tenure last month. And it looks like his R01 application will be funded, as well. Congratulati

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Evolution loves history

By | June 2, 2008

In order to linkurl:evolve;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/23321/ novel traits, organisms may depend upon smaller, less dramatic mutations that they amass through their evolutionary history rather than suddenly acquiring a single mutation that gives them drastically different phenotypes, according to a study published online today (Jun 2) in __PNAS__. Whether an organism arrives at major evolutionary innovations through a single key mutation or a history of many accumulated mutations

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New journal links to genetic database

By | June 2, 2008

A new genomics and systems biology journal will collaborate with an international, open access database to include a section devoted to publishing genetic datasets. linkurl:__Human Genomics and Proteomics__;http://www.sage-hindawi.com/journals/hgp/ (__HGP__) was officially launched Saturday (May 31) at a human genomics symposium in Barcelona by editor-in-chief, George Patrinos, a geneticist at Erasmus University Medical Center in The Netherlands. The new journal is the first offering from SAGE

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Salmonella vaccine lift-off

By | June 2, 2008

A space biotech company hopes its __Salmonella__ vaccine project will pave the way for other lucrative space biotech projects. The company, SPACEHAB, launched its proof-of-concept experiment as part of the space shuttle Discovery's payload on Saturday (May 31). In linkurl:April,;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54609/ I reported that SPACEHAB's CEO Tom Pickens talked up the potential for space biotech at a Congressional hearing on the future of the linkurl:International Space Station.

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Thyroid researcher dies

By | June 2, 2008

Jacob Robbins, an NIH thyroid researcher and co-discoverer of the active form of thyroid hormone, died on May 12 in Bethesda, Md, of heart failure. He was 85 years old. In the 1950s Robbins and colleague Joseph Rall, both then at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, hypothesized that levels of the thyroid hormone, thyroxine, might fluctuate in the bloodstream and found that the hormone could not be bound to any other proteins in the blood in order to be active. "It was extremely important f

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Brazil OKs stem cell research

By | May 30, 2008

Brazil's Supreme Court upheld legislation yesterday (May 28) that allows research on embryonic stem cells, according to the linkurl:Associated Press.;http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5ilSQD5t_pO3YCyS_IdsF2jLzEX2QD90VMFDOC Six of the 11 court judges voted to maintain a linkurl:2005 law;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54405/ legalizing embryonic stem cell research, and turned down a petition arguing that the law was unconstitutional because it violates the right to life. The remaining

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NIH boosts translational funding

By | May 29, 2008

The National Institutes of Health linkurl:announced;http://www.nih.gov/news/health/may2008/ncrr-29.htm plans today (May 29) to inject $533 million over the next five years into speeding up the linkurl:bench to bedside;http://www.the-scientist.com/2008/3/1/29/1/ trajectory for new treatments. The funding will go to researchers at 14 academic health centers - including Harvard University, The Scripps Research Institute, Stanford University and others - which will become part of the NIH's Clinical

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