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Two teams reprogram skin cells for pluripotency

By | November 20, 2007

Two studies published today report that human somatic cells can be reprogrammed into a pluripotent state that resembles human embryonic stem cells. As reported in linkurl:Cell;http://images.cell.com/images/Edimages/Cell/IEPs/3661.pdf , Shinya Yamanaka's group from Kyoto University linkurl:reprogrammed;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/24307/ adult human skin cells with four transcription factors to make them display human embryonic stem cell pluripotency. linkurl:Last year;http://www.n

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Who's Dolly's daddy?

By | November 20, 2007

We at __The Scientist__ take the time to carefully read each and every press release we're sent, especially those from our elected officials in Washington, D.C. (OK, not really.) Today, we got one from Capitol Hill that still has us scratching our heads. An oddly worded press release from US Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS) alleges that cloning pioneer Ian Wilmut is the biological father of Dolly the sheep. The release begins by describing Brownback's pleasure with linkurl:researchers;http://www.t

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Job opportunities in Europe

By | November 19, 2007

For those of you who have dreamed of doing science in Europe but don't know how to find the jobs, MIT is hosting a linkurl:European Career Fair;https://www.euro-career.com/ from February 2nd to the 4th, to introduce job-hunting researchers to European employers from academia and industry. The fair is free to candidates and open to the public. No registration is required, but posting a resume online gives employers a chance to find promising candidates ahead of time. Sven Loebrich, the co-cha

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Wilmut leaves nuclear transfer behind

By | November 19, 2007

Ian Wilmut, the Scottish scientist who championed linkurl:somatic-cell nuclear transfer;http://www.the-scientist.com/2007/6/1/34/1/ -- most famously with the cloned sheep Dolly -- is choosing a different technique for his future research in stem cells. Wilmut has said he will shift his therapeutic focus from embryonic stem cells to induced pluripotent stem cells. As opposed to nuclear transfer with embryonic stem cells, this technique transfects adult fibroblast cells with transcription factors

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Defense research spending up, NIH bill fails

By | November 16, 2007

On Tuesday (Nov. 13) President Bush linkurl:signed;http://chronicle.com/subscribe/login?url=http%3A%2F%2Fchronicle.com%2Fdaily%2F2007%2F11%2F708n.htm a defense bill linkurl:(HR 3222);http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgibin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=110_cong_bills&docid=f:h3222enr.txt.pdf that ups the 2008 Pentagon budget by $40 billion from last year and increases Pentagon-funded basic research programs by about $81.2 million, according to a spokesperson for the bill's sponsor, Representative John Murtha

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HIPAA hinders studies, researchers say

By | November 16, 2007

Laws intended to protect patient privacy are a hindrance to research, according to a linkurl:study;http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/short/298/18/2164 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Nearly 70 percent of 1,527 epidemiologists surveyed by the study author said that the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) has made research more difficult since its enactment in 2003. Study author Roberta Ness, from the University of Pittsburgh, told linkurl:The

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Will epigeneticist make Person of the Year?

By | November 16, 2007

It's not every year you read "epigenetics" in a linkurl:nomination;http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1682261,00.html for __Time's__ Person of the Year. Duke professor linkurl:Randy Jirtle;http://www.geneimprint.com/lab/ sent an email this week to __The Scientist's__ former intern Kelly Chi, letting her know that he had been nominated for __Time Magazine's__ Person of the Year. Jirtle told me over the phone this morning that he was surprised and honored, but wasn't positive why Nor

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Researchers clone primate embryos

By | November 14, 2007

Scientists in Oregon claim to have successfully produced rhesus macaque embryos using somatic cell nuclear transfer with egg and skin cells taken from adult monkeys. __The Scientist__ first linkurl:reported;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53290/ on this back in June when the head of the research team, Shoukhrat Mitalipov, presented the results at a stem cell meeting in Australia. The paper is published online today (November 14) on linkurl:Nature's;http://www.nature.com/nature/index.h

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Uniform grant progress reports?

By | November 14, 2007

The NSF is looking to save researchers time and effort by creating one standard progress report form for all granting agencies. Currently each agency has its own interim report form. While agencies like the EPA or the NIH use different language to ask about scientific progress, they generally collect very similar information. The government estimates the new form will take scientists anywhere from 5 to 16 hours to complete, depending on the research project. One rationale for using a single onl

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Why our UNH coverage may seem one-sided

By | November 14, 2007

In July, we ran a story about John Collins, chair of the University of New Hampshire biochemistry department who had been arrested for disorderly conduct. His accuser -- Stacia Sower, dean of research -- subsequently filed for a restraining order against Collins, after he had been banned from campus by the university. You can read more of the details on the incident linkurl:here;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53383/ . Last month, I linkurl:reported;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog

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