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New head of Calif. stem cell group

By | August 9, 2007

Richard Murphy, former head of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, will assume the role of interim president of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the agency announced yesterday. Murphy will take over for Lori Hoffman, who served as acting present since the spring, when linkurl:Zach Hall;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/24357/ resigned from CIRM's top position. "We are grateful that Dr. Murphy has agreed to assume this responsibility for a period up t

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Foot and mouth source still mysterious

By | August 8, 2007

The UK government has issued some preliminary findings into an investigation of the source of linkurl:foot and mouth disease;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/19591/ (FMD) virus that started an outbreak in cattle near two research labs in Surrey last week. After an onsite investigation and personnel interviews, the government-led team has found that the virus strain was being worked on in two facilities near the outbreak, the Institute of Animal Health (which researches FMD) and Meria

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Study the economic impact of research? Win $5,000

By | August 7, 2007

As I found in my reporting of a July feature called linkurl:"Is science a good bet,";http://www.the-scientist.com/toc/2007/7/1/ it is a daunting task to figure out the economic impacts of investing in research. For decades economists have tried, but they've managed only to eke out a fuzzy sense of direction?meaning that the impact is positive, but no one really knows how positive, nor what an optimal investment might return. Yet the economics of research are of huge interest to the government,

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Online evolution at The Scientist -- part 1

By | August 6, 2007

As you will have noticed our website has a new look, which marks the first of several changes that will be occurring on our site over the coming months. This first round of changes is more than just a nifty change of color. We've streamlined a lot of aspects, and updated a lot of the behind-the-scenes technical wizardry that should make many of the future additions that we have in the pipeline easier to incorporate. We also want our homepage to highlight more of the online content that we ar

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A wee pat on the back

By | August 3, 2007

It's always nice to get some stroking, and The Scientist staff has been purring over the last couple of weeks. Last night we took home the national Gold Azbee award -- that's the top one -- for Publication Redesign in the under-80,000 category at the linkurl:American Society of Business Publication Editors' 29th Annual Awards of Excellence;http://www.asbpe.org/contest/2007/win07natdes.htm . We entered the linkurl:November 2006 issue.;http://www.the-scientist.com/toc/2006/11/1/. Congratulations

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Nature on the slide?

By | August 3, 2007

In the beauty contest that is the annual citation report from ISI, linkurl:Nature;http://www.nature.com/nature/index.html has tripped and fallen off the stage. Having been the top journal in 2004 with an impact factor of 31.9, they slipped marginally behind linkurl:Science;http://www.sciencemag.org/ and linkurl:Cell;http://www.cell.com/ in 2005. But the latest figures, for 2006, show a gulf in linkurl:impact factors;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/impact_factors . Science comes in at 30.0, Cell

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Just in: Fake ID linked to drinking

By | August 2, 2007

One of our notebooks in the August issue takes a linkurl:close look at press releases;http://www.the-scientist.com/2007/8/1/18/1/ about research, and why some press offices choose to cover seemingly obvious research. We only mentioned one university-based press office, but it's not just Ohio State University that "sells the self-evident," as a press release that landed in my inbox last week demonstrates. "Mizzou study shows that possessing a fake ID results in more drinking by u

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Three syllables, sounds like "cabana"

By | August 2, 2007

Behavioral research has provided another insight into the mental workings of our fellow apes: linkurl:orangutans can play charades;http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6926703.stm . This finding enriches our concept of primate communication, a phenomenon most likely important in the transmission of customs and the eventual establishment of cultures among our primate cousins. I wrote about linkurl:chimp culture;http://www.the-scientist.com/2007/8/1/28/1/ (and orangutan customs) in our August issu

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Desert Gold

By | August 1, 2007

In our June issue, I wrote about linkurl:environmentally friendly laboratories;http://www.the-scientist.com/2007/6/1/26/1/ and last month, I wrote about Arizona State University's Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building IV, which is scheduled for completion by 2010. ASU plans to seek LEED Silver status from the linkurl:US Green Building Council;http://www.usgbc.org/ for that project, but has received even higher LEED ratings for two other research buildings on its Tempe campus. linkur

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Congratulations, Nancy Hopkins

By | July 31, 2007

This Sunday's New York Times devoted an entire article to Nancy Hopkins, a professor of molecular biology at MIT and member of the National Academy of Sciences. She is an accomplished researcher, who spent many Saturday nights working, and never building up much of a social life. "That's what was required for women of my generation to be taken seriously, " said Hopkins, 64, who has linkurl:written about women in science;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/15844/ on our p

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