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Calif. to investigate state stem cell agency

By | December 11, 2007

A California state political oversight commission has agreed to investigate a conflict of interest complaint filed against a board member at the state's stem cell agency. California's Fair Political Practices Commission said yesterday (Dec 10) that it will look into an linkurl:incident;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53971/ involving John Reed, a member of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine's (CIRM) governing board and CEO of the Burnham Institute for Medical Research i

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ImClone settles drug patent dispute

By | December 11, 2007

The makers of the antibody-based cancer drug Erbitux have settled a patent dispute with Israeli researchers who claimed to have invented the process for making the drug. Last year, Yeda Research and Development, the tech transfer office of the Weizmann Institute, sued ImClone and Sanofi-Aventis over the Erbitux patent. (The patent was owned by the latter and licensed by the former.) The dispute centered on a long-standing argument between Yale researcher linkurl:Joseph Schlessinger;http://www.

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Isotope shortage slowing research?

By | December 11, 2007

The shutdown of a Canadian nuclear reactor that produces radioisotopes is causing delays in medical diagnoses and treatments, but nuclear medicine researchers seem unaffected so far. In mid-November, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) linkurl:shut down;http://www.mds.nordion.com/documents/news-releases/2007/MDSN_Medical_Isotope.pdf its National Research Universal reactor in Chalk River, Ontario for what was supposed to be five days of routine maintenance. But the reactor remains powered dow

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Poetic justice for Watson?

By | December 11, 2007

There's an interesting "P.S." to the story of James Watson's early retirement after public outcry when he told a UK newspaper that he believed people of African ancestry were less intelligent - he has 16 times more genes of African origin than the average Caucasian. The company deCODE Genetics performed the analysis using Watson's entire genome, which he linkurl:released publicly;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/53415/ this year. "This level is what you wou

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Lasker names new president

By | December 10, 2007

The linkurl:Lasker Foundation;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53585/ announced today that Maria Freire will replace president Neen Hunt on March 1 of next year. Freire was most recently CEO of the non-profit Global Alliance for TB Drug Development, and previously directed the Office of Technology Transfer at the NIH. Hunt, 65, has been president since 1995. She said she will work to support medical research philanthropy, according to the foundation's spokesperson, Kendall Christianse

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Doc fired for industry ties sues hospital

By | December 8, 2007

A former Cleveland Clinic physician is suing the hospital for firing him over conflicts of interest, the Wall Street Journal linkurl:reports.;http://online.wsj.com/article_print/SB119699329567216612.html Jay Yadav, who was fired last year from his post as head of the vascular intervention unit, invented a device to prevent blockages caused by neck stents. He tested the device at the Cleveland Clinic, and received shares from the company that commercialized it. However, he insists that he reveal

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Canned creationist sues Woods Hole

By | December 7, 2007

Doing research in an evolutionary biology lab and not believing in evolution might spell trouble for your career - at least it did for Nathaniel Abraham. The former postdoc at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is suing the institution because he says he was fired for his linkurl:creationist beliefs,;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/15273 the __Boston Globe__ linkurl:reports;http://tinyurl.com/287an3 today. According to the Globe, Abraham joined the lab of linkurl:Mark Hahn,;h

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CIRM cuts ten grants

By | December 7, 2007

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) linkurl:announced;http://www.cirm.ca.gov/press/pdf/2007/1207007.pdf today that it is eliminating ten grant applications from consideration to avoid breaking its conflict of interest rules regarding grant applications and accompanying letters of support. "CIRM has opted to act conservatively by refraining from considering these applications," the release said, "and the agency will take steps to clarify future requirements for institutiona

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Open access for Nature genome papers

By | December 7, 2007

Nature Publishing Group has adopted a new formal policy that will allow researchers to freely access, distribute, and reuse all papers which provide organisms' genomic sequences, according to a Nature linkurl:editorial;http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v450/n7171/full/450762b.html published online Wednesday (December 5). The policy does not mark a big change in practice -- Nature has always made genomic papers immediately and freely available on their Web site. But the new "creative commons

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And what about wet underwear?

By | December 6, 2007

I absolutely cannot resist blogging about this - the web site "Oddee," which linkurl:describes itself;http://www.oddee.com/item_90683.aspx as a "blog on the oddities of our world," has listed the 10 most bizarre scientific papers. Obviously, some experiments make the list that could be termed "life science" - including, for example, a 1992 analysis of the linkurl:effect of country music;http://www.uta.edu/depken/ugrad/3318/music-suicide.pdf on suicide rates, detailed cal

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