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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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NIH to fund ''wild and crazy'' research

By | July 31, 2007

Scientists who have been linkurl:complaining;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/home/52946/ about flat NIH funding may get relief in the form of a new funding scheme. But run-of-the-mill researchers need not apply. This linkurl:grant initiative;http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-GM-08-002.html is only for exceptionally innovative and unconventional proposals. "The wild and crazy projects," that linkurl:Laurie Tompkins;http://www.nigms.nih.gov/About/Tompkins.htm , a program direct

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Health care reporters on the take?

By | July 30, 2007

In a reminder that members of Congress -- oh, and bloggers, too -- need fact-checkers as much as journalists do, Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) felt the need to put out a press release Friday apologizing to three prominent health care reporters. Here's what happened: On July 23, Daily Kos linkurl:reported;http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/7/23/7140/03171 that ABC's Nancy Snyderman, NBC's Robert Bazell, and PBS' Susan Dentzer were members of the Speakers Network at America's Health Insurance Plans

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Gonzo journalism about cats?

By | July 26, 2007

This week one of my sources sent me a recent newsletter from linkurl:Allerca,;http://www.allerca.com/indexold.html a "lifestyle pets" company now headquartered in Delaware that claims to have developed hypoallergenic cats. I was interested to read a rant by the company's founder, Simon Brodie, about the "gonzo journalists" who "trumpeted absolute falsehoods and downright lies" regarding the company. I imagine Brodie might be referring to yours truly. Not because I lied in my linkurl:investigati

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Mass files life science legislation

By | July 20, 2007

Yesterday, Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick proposed life science research legislation that he linkurl:first suggested;http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=pressreleases&agId=Agov3&prModName=gov3pressrelease&prFile=agov3_pr_070508_life_science_initiative.xml in May. When I covered the discussion on this bill linkurl:last month;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53359/ , Governor Patrick's administration was still hammering out the details for the $1 billion, 10 year spending plan, calle

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Why is US citation share dropping?

By | July 20, 2007

The National Science Foundation released two reports to the public this week that examine a puzzling trend: Why, during times of increasing investment in science, is the share of US publications dropping? As I linkurl:reported;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/36407 in November of last year, US publication numbers plateaued from 1992 to 2002, and the global percentage of publications coming out of the US dropped from 38% in 1973 to 30% in 2003. Meanwhile, the report shows US academic R&D

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Breathing freely over TB patient

By | July 3, 2007

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are likely taking a collective sigh of relief. This just in from The Scientist intern Kelly Chi: Today (July 3) representatives from the National Jewish Medical Research Center and the CDC revealed that Andrew Speaker, a patient who sparked international concern after traveling with a highly-resistant form of TB, has multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB), not extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB). This means that he can be treated with a

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