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Seymour Benzer dies

By | December 5, 2007

The Scientist intern Jonathan Scheff reports: Seymour Benzer, whose research into the structure and function of genes as well as the connection between genes and behavior laid the foundation of modern genetics, died on Friday, November 30, at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena. He was 86. linkurl:David Anderson,;http://www.dja.caltech.edu a colleague at the California Institute of Technology, where Benzer was a professor of neuroscience, in a statement called Benzer "a giant in science... He star

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NSF: No cures, please

By | December 4, 2007

"I guess it must be two o'clock." NSF's Eve Barak was standing at a podium looking out at a large room that was only about one-fifth full. It was day 3 (December 3) of the American Society for Cell Biology's annual meeting, and Barak was here to outline what biologists need to do to receive an NSF grant. During the session (during which more scientists trickled in, making the room half-full), Barak, who has spent the last 20 years helping review biology grant applications

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CSPI: FDA can manage conflicts better

By | December 3, 2007

Conflicts of interest among linkurl:US Food and Drug Administration;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/36885/ advisory committees are more easily solved than the agency is letting on, suggests a Washington-based think tank. A linkurl:report;http://www.cspinet.org/integrity/watch/200712031.html#1 issued today (Dec. 3) by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) reinterprets an FDA-sponsored linkurl:study;http://www.fda.gov/oc/advisory/ERGCOIreport.pdf on conflicts of intere

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FDA's scientific base eroded, report says

By | December 3, 2007

The US linkurl:Food and Drug Administration;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/36885 suffers from "serious scientific deficiencies," potentially compromising the agency's ability to protect the health and safety of consumers, a linkurl:report;http://tinyurl.com/yvnk28 by the FDA's science board has concluded. The agency has had the most trouble regulating areas such as linkurl:systems biology,;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/53421 nanotechnology, and linkurl:regenerative m

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How to be an advocate

By | December 3, 2007

This morning, a group of panelists issued a call to action to a standing-room-only crowd at the American Society for Cell Biology's 47th Annual Meeting: Scientists must get involved in policy issues, and they have to start now. The session - which included scientists, a congressional staffer, and other advocates - focused on linkurl:how scientists can become involved;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/53611/ in advocating for federal dollars for embryonic stem cell research. It&

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ID a factor in tenure denial?

By | December 3, 2007

Iowa State University has denied tenure to Guillermo Gonzalez, an astronomer who has publicly supported intelligent design. One of his colleagues told the Des Moines Register that he thought the decision was based partly on Gonzalez's statements on the subject. When the school announced the decision last spring, officials said it was based on his publication record. But the linkurl:__Des Moines Register__;http://desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071201/NEWS02/712010318/100

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NIH: Gene therapy didn't cause death

By | December 3, 2007

An experimental gene therapy treatment did not cause a patient's linkurl:death;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53453/ earlier this year, according to a federal advisory committee. The National Institutes of Health's Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee announced the findings this morning (Dec. 3) and made recommendations to alter the design of the study, which was cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration to linkurl:resume;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53886/ last week.

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Woes for Mass. biotech council

By | December 3, 2007

The $1 billion linkurl:life sciences initiative;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53359/ posed by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is dealing with some scrutiny lately. The new president of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council faces a state ethics investigation about his transition from the public to the private sector, and has declined to publicly discuss the bill. Massachusetts Biotechnology Council President Robert Coughlin has announced he will not publicly discuss the bill,

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Banned scientist now at Schering-Plough

By | November 30, 2007

A scientist that the University of Washington found guilty of research misconduct is now an employee of the pharmaceutical company, linkurl:Schering-Plough.;http://www.sch-plough.com In an Email to __The Scientist__, a company spokesperson, Stephen Galpin, confirmed that Scott Brodie, a former UW researcher, "is a current employee and that we recently became aware of the University of Washington investigation." The university's investigation into Brodie's work found 15 instances of faked data,

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Embargoes, the NY Times, and the WHO

By | November 30, 2007

For the next two weeks, if you want news about the World Health Organization (WHO), you may have to consult sources other than __The New York Times__. According to an Email I just received from the WHO, the organization has suspended the __Times__ from its media distribution list for two weeks after the newspaper broke an embargo on a linkurl:story on measles deaths. ;http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/29/world/africa/29briefs-measles.html?_r=1&oref=slogin (They've dropped sharply, it turns out.) ''

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