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Singapore loses star stem cell scientist

By | December 14, 2007

Despite billions of dollars invested by the Singapore government to turn the country into a global biomedical research hub, another prominent researcher is leaving, The Chronicle of Higher Education linkurl:reported;http://chronicle.com/news/article/3628/british-stem-cell-scientist-is-latest-prominent-researcher-to-leave-singapore yesterday. Alan Colman, who contributed to cloning Dolly the sheep, is abandoning his post as executive director of the Singapore Stem Cell Consortium. He is the thir

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Calif. stem cell grants, conflicts

By | December 13, 2007

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) announced 22 New Faculty Awards yesterday (Dec 12) while releasing the names of five institutions from which applications were rejected for apparent conflicts of interest. The grants, awarded to young researchers at institutions throughout the state, total more than $54 million, bringing the amount of research dollars awarded by California's stem cell agency to $260 million since its 2004 inception. The institute confirmed it had reject

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Canadian reactor to reopen

By | December 13, 2007

A linkurl:shuttered;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54006/ Canadian nuclear reactor that normally produces radioisotopes crucial to a variety of medical diagnoses will reopen soon. Emergency legislation linkurl:passed;http://www.thestar.com/News/Canada/article/285209 by the Canadian government late Tuesday (Dec 11) will allow the reactor to open for 120 days and resume production of the isotopes. Canada's Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, was apparently none too happy with the parties

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Glow-in-the-dark cats

By | December 13, 2007

What a year for felines - first a company linkurl:claims to have bred;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/39383 them to be hypoallergenic and now South Korean scientists have made them glow in the dark. According to news linkurl:reports;http://tinyurl.com/2cseps this week, Kong Il-keun at Gyeongsang National University cloned Turkish Angora cats with red fluorescent protein inserted into their genome. According to Korea.net, Il-keun is excited about the possibility of using the cat as a

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Hope for paused AIDS vaccine

By | December 13, 2007

Following the recent linkurl:failure;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53633 of a linkurl:Merck HIV vaccine,;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/53517 the NIH has still not decided whether to continue with planned clinical trials of a similar HIV vaccine. Yesterday (December 12), the AIDS Vaccine Research Committee of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases met to discuss the PAVE100 study, which was suspended after linkurl:data from the Merck trials;http://w

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Stem cells for Duchenne?

By | December 12, 2007

Adult stem cells taken from humans suffering from Duchenne muscular dystrophy can be genetically modified and used to treat the disease in a mouse model, researchers linkurl:report;http://www.cellstemcell.com/ today in Cell Stem Cell. Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a progressive condition caused by a mutation on the X chromosome that leads to a lack of dystrophin protein in muscle. The mutation is usually caused by a deletion or mutation in the gene, leading to a shift in the reading frame of m

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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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