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More delay for Boston biolab

By | February 1, 2008

Additional safety studies for Boston's planned Biosafety Level 4 lab, demanded by the Massachusetts Supreme Court last year, will further delay the opening of the facility, according to court documents filed by the NIH this week. In November, 2007, an outside scientific panel linkurl:concluded;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53944/ that the NIH had flubbed the safety evaluations for the lab, and in December, the Massachusetts Supreme Court linkurl:ruled;http://www.the-scientist.com/bl

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New drug hopes for RNAi?

By | January 31, 2008

Researchers linkurl:report;http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/319/5863/627 that they have overcome one of the major roadblocks to using small interfering RNA (siRNA) therapeutically - they have developed a new method to linkurl:deliver siRNA;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/53307/ to silence genes in specific cells in vivo, according to this week's Science. "I'm really actually quite excited about the paper," said linkurl:John Rossi,;http://www.coh.org/Researchers/RossiJ

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Should trial sponsors pay for treatment?

By | January 31, 2008

What is the linkurl:responsibility of a company sponsoring a clinical trial;http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2008/01/31/when-drug-trials-go-wrong/ when one of its participants gets sick? That's the theme of a linkurl:story;http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120173515260330205.html in today's Wall Street Journal. As Sarah Rubenstein reports, the family of a woman who took part in a clinical trial of a drug for Parkinson's disease is suing the sponsors and university organizers of the trial. They say the

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Do adult brains learn by neurogenesis?

By | January 30, 2008

While researchers agree that the birth of new neurons plays an important role in the adult brain, they have long linkurl:debated;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/23351/ to which aspects of learning, memory and behavior the process contributes. A new linkurl:study;http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/nature06562.html published today (January 30) in Nature has used a gene knockout approach to link adult neurogenesis to spatial learning. The paper showed that adult mice

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Light helmet to treat Alzheimer's?

By | January 30, 2008

A linkurl:story;http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7208768.stm by the BBC last week reporting that a treatment of infrared light through the scalp could reverse Alzheimer's disease has scientists -- and skeptical science writers -- scratching their heads. Gordon Dougal, director of a UK-based company called Virulite, is leading a study that tests whether infrared light, beamed on the head from a special helmet, might boost cell growth in the brain (Virulite currently sells a product also based i

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NEJM reviewer leaked Avandia study

By | January 30, 2008

A reviewer of last year's linkurl:meta-analysis;http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/abstract/356/24/2457 of GlaxoSmithKline's diabetes drug, linkurl:Avandia,;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53284/ leaked the study to the company prior to its publication in the __New England Journal of Medicine__, according to a linkurl:story;http://www.nature.com/news/2008/080130/full/451509a.html appearing today (Jan. 30) in __Nature__. Last year, Avandia, joined the ranks of blockbuster drugs associ

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Questioned arthritis paper pulled

By | January 30, 2008

A journal retracted a linkurl:2004 paper;http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15301984?ordinalpos=5&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum this week that was among the 70,000 papers linkurl:flagged last week;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54210/ as potentially containing plagiarized material. Last week's report, published in Nature, presented findings from a new text-search program that scanned medical literature for duplicate publication. The retrac

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Biologists' FY09 funding wish list

By | January 29, 2008

The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) has outlined its funding hopes for the 2009 fiscal year today (Jan. 29), just a few weeks after Congress linkurl:passed;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54032/ the FY08 funding bill that bumped the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budget up by a mere $130 million. "Today we present, based on our expertise as scientists, what is necessary to reinvigorate and sustain our nation's extraordinary research enterprise,"

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Chameleon colors let it all hang out

By | January 29, 2008

The word "chameleon" is almost synonymous with camouflage. But the chameleon's famed ability to change colors may be more about sticking out than blending in: A new linkurl:study;http://biology.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pbio.0060025 in PLoS Biology suggests color change is a way for the lizards to send each other signals related to mating - but to do so quickly, so as not to attract predators. linkurl:Devi Stuart-Fox;http://www.lexagrutter.com/Devi_pro

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Life sciences lose in State of the Union

By | January 29, 2008

In his linkurl:State of the Union;http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2008/01/20080128-13.html address last night, President Bush asked Congress to double the funding of basic research in the physical sciences, but asked life scientists to keep their work "ethical," reiterating his stance on the need for legislation banning human cloning. To bolster his call to ban human cloning, the President cited recent research by Yamanaka and Thomson, who both reported last November that stem cell-lik

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