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How we review peer review

By | December 20, 2007

In case you have never attended an open house workshop at the NIH's Center for Scientific Review, in which people who participate in NIH peer review gather to discuss how the process is going and could improve, here's how it typically goes: Tuesday morning (December 18), about 80 stakeholders such as study section leaders in the Biomolecular group (about one-sixth of the entire CSR) gathered in a large auditorium of the Natcher Building on the NIH campus to consider two questions. 1. W

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Psychiatrist kills ads to pay ransom

By | December 20, 2007

A leading child psychiatrist got thousands of emails this week criticizing a provocative advertising campaign by his center to raise awareness of mental illness in children. The New York Times linkurl:reported;http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/20/business/media/20child.html that Harold Koplewicz, the director of New York University's Child Study Center, received more than 3,000 emails in response to the ads, which used fake ransom notes to call attention to autism and depression in children. For e

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Unwinding DNA replication

By | December 20, 2007

Scientists have sorted out another piece of the DNA replication puzzle by showing what might happen to histones through the process of unwinding DNA. The linkurl:findings,;http://www.sciencemag.org published in today's (December 20) __Science__, identify a complex that can shuttle histones from parent to daughter strands of DNA as it replicates. As the replication fork moves along a strand of DNA, the linkurl:nucleosomes;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/23392 - the 4-histone pair c

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Altered role for stem cell regulator

By | December 19, 2007

The protein linkurl:Nanog,;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/53404/ long considered essential to maintaining pluripotency and promoting differentiation in embryonic stem cells, may play a lesser role in those processes, according to a study published this week in Nature. "The previous paradigm was that Nanog was infinitely coupled to differentiation," Ian Chambers of the University of Edinburgh, lead author of the study, told The Scientist. This new work has shown, Chambers continue

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Congress passes NIH budget

By | December 19, 2007

Both chambers of Congress this afternoon (December 19) agreed to a suite of government spending bills that included roughly $29 billion for the National Institutes of Health, according to Nancy Granese from the Campaign for Medical Research. This budget, for FY08, is $130 million more than FY07. The linkurl:raise;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54025 was smaller than some medical and research organizations had hoped for. In a press release from CMR, the group's chairman, G. Steven Bur

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NIH grants for human microbe work

By | December 19, 2007

The National Institutes of Health linkurl:launched;http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/dec2007/od-19.htm a project today (Dec. 19) aimed at linkurl:sequencing;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/53647/ the myriad linkurl:microbes;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/53643/ that inhabit the human body. NIH has already awarded several millions of dollars in grant money to researchers engaging in the Human Microbiome Project, and linkurl:more grant money;http://nihroadmap.nih.gov/hmp/grants

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Alberts move to Science hailed

By | December 18, 2007

Bruce Alberts' colleagues are -- not surprisingly -- celebrating his decision to be the 18th editor-in-chief of Science, which the journal announced Monday (December 17). "I don't think [the journal] could have picked a better person," Peter Walter, chairman of the department of biochemistry and biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco, told The Scientist. The announcement followed months of speculation, during which Alberts' name linkurl:emerged;http://www

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FDA approves race-tested drug

By | December 18, 2007

The US Food and Drug Administration yesterday (December 17) linkurl:approved;http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/2007/NEW01757.html a beta blocker that I wrote about last month in an linkurl:article;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53869 about the value of race-based medicine. The FDA's approval notice did not mention any particular race or ethnicity, and a linkurl:press release;http://www.frx.com/news/PressRelease.aspx?ID=1088188 from the drug's manufacturer noted that the drug, nebiv

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Hwang back to research?

By | December 18, 2007

Hwang Woo-Suk, the disgraced South Korean stem cell scientist, is part of a research team in South Korea requesting permission to work on human embryonic stem cells, the Associated Press linkurl:reported;http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/12/17/asia/AS-GEN-SKorea-Hwang-Stem-Cell.php yesterday. Hwang was one of eight researchers from the Suam Biotechnology Institute, a lab he linkurl:founded;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/23737/ last year, who filed the request, an anonymous official

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Open access lives in NIH bill

By | December 18, 2007

A provision mandating public access to research published by NIH-funded scientists has survived in the linkurl:funding bill;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54025/ making its way through Congress this week. The provision was originally part of a funding bill that President George W. Bush linkurl:vetoed;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53858/ last month. It mandates that the NIH adopt a policy requiring agency-funded scientists to post their published research on the agency's p

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