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NSF looks at university cost-sharing

By | December 6, 2007

When it comes to the quality of research, does it matter who foots the research bill? A government task force linkurl:will gather;http://www.nsf.gov/nsb/meetings/2007/1207/agenda.pdf on Friday (December 7) to study whether a linkurl:2004 decision;http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/cspolicy1004.pdf to reduce universities' share of the cost of federally funded projects might have had some negative consequences. The current funding deal is that institutions have to chip in 1% of National Science

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Pluripotent cells treat anemia?

By | December 6, 2007

Skin cells reprogrammed for pluripotency can be used to treat anemia in a mouse model of the disease, reports a study published online in Science today (December 6). The researchers, led by linkurl:Rudolph Jaenisch;http://www.wi.mit.edu/research/faculty/jaenisch.html and Jacob Hanna at MIT, say the study provides proof of principle that linkurl:induced pluripotent stem cells;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53873/ (iPS cells) can be used to treat diseases. The scientists first creat

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WHO media sanctions have little effect

By | December 6, 2007

Apparently, the punishment the World Health Organization (WHO) meted out to the New York Times for linkurl:breaking an embargo last week;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53943/ didn't deter other media outlets from doing the same yesterday and today. Early this morning -- 4:28 EST, to be precise -- the WHO sent out a notice to its media list saying that an embargo on a story about children's medicines was being lifted immediately because it had been broken. I searched Google News for

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George Church Enters X-Prize Fray

By | December 5, 2007

Jeff Perkel, a past editor at The Scientist, reports: It would seem that, when it comes to the Archon X Prize for Genomics, George Church has had a change of heart. The $10 million prize will go to the first group that can sequence 100 genomes (to at least 98 percent coverage and with less than one error per 100,000 bases) in 10 days, for under $10,000 per genome. linkurl:Last year,;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/36685/ Church, a Harvard geneticist and DNA sequencing pioneer, tol

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New home for UK medical research

By | December 5, 2007

The British government has finalized a contentious plan to build a new medical research center in the heart of London, according to a linkurl:statement;http://www.mrc.ac.uk/NewsViewsAndEvents/News/MRC004253 posted by the Medical Research Council (MRC) today (December 5). British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will sell a plot of land next to the British Library and the new Eurostar train station for the construction of the UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation (UKCMRI) -- scheduled to be c

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NIH head fields grant questions

By | December 5, 2007

NIH is nearing the end of a linkurl:review;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/53412/ of the peer review facet of their granting process, and this Friday (Dec. 7) NIH director Elias Zerhouni will linkurl:meet;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53750/ with his Advisory Committee to the Director to discuss, among other things, the NIH grant peer review process. This afternoon (Dec. 4), Zerhouni took the discussion to the internet in a live chat session with researchers across the

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Seymour Benzer dies

By | December 5, 2007

The Scientist intern Jonathan Scheff reports: Seymour Benzer, whose research into the structure and function of genes as well as the connection between genes and behavior laid the foundation of modern genetics, died on Friday, November 30, at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena. He was 86. linkurl:David Anderson,;http://www.dja.caltech.edu a colleague at the California Institute of Technology, where Benzer was a professor of neuroscience, in a statement called Benzer "a giant in science... He star

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NSF: No cures, please

By | December 4, 2007

"I guess it must be two o'clock." NSF's Eve Barak was standing at a podium looking out at a large room that was only about one-fifth full. It was day 3 (December 3) of the American Society for Cell Biology's annual meeting, and Barak was here to outline what biologists need to do to receive an NSF grant. During the session (during which more scientists trickled in, making the room half-full), Barak, who has spent the last 20 years helping review biology grant applications

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CSPI: FDA can manage conflicts better

By | December 3, 2007

Conflicts of interest among linkurl:US Food and Drug Administration;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/36885/ advisory committees are more easily solved than the agency is letting on, suggests a Washington-based think tank. A linkurl:report;http://www.cspinet.org/integrity/watch/200712031.html#1 issued today (Dec. 3) by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) reinterprets an FDA-sponsored linkurl:study;http://www.fda.gov/oc/advisory/ERGCOIreport.pdf on conflicts of intere

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FDA's scientific base eroded, report says

By | December 3, 2007

The US linkurl:Food and Drug Administration;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/36885 suffers from "serious scientific deficiencies," potentially compromising the agency's ability to protect the health and safety of consumers, a linkurl:report;http://tinyurl.com/yvnk28 by the FDA's science board has concluded. The agency has had the most trouble regulating areas such as linkurl:systems biology,;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/53421 nanotechnology, and linkurl:regenerative m

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