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Bye bye, Donald Kennedy

By | June 22, 2007

Yesterday (June 21), Science editor-in-chief Donald Kennedy announced he was retiring from the journal, after seven years at the helm. AAAS president David Baltimore is leading a search committee for a new candidate. Kennedy has steered Science through some tricky waters, to say the least. The journal published, then retracted, one of Woo-Suk Hwang's linkurl:now-infamous;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/36969/ papers on human embryonic stem cell research. In 2002, the journal lin

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Hwang back at work

By | June 22, 2007

South Korean researcher Woo-suk Hwang has apparently picked up the pieces of his life since he admitted to fabricating key findings in human embryonic stem cell research. According to the Associated Press, he has linkurl:opened a private lab;http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/06/22/asia/AS-FEA-GEN-SKorea-Disgraced-Scientist.php outside of Seoul, and taken 30 researchers with him. They are now extracting stem cells from cloned animal embryos, such as pigs and cows. "If we had been working

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Good news for pygmy rabbits

By | June 19, 2007

Finally, after years of dwindling populations and a deadly outbreak in February and March, there may be some good news for Columbia Basin pygmy rabbits. I traveled out to Washington and Oregon to linkurl:report on efforts to save the species;http://www.the-scientist.com/2007/6/1/40/1/ for our June issue. The Associated Press linkurl:reported last week;http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/06/14/ap3822788.html that doctoral student Len Zeoli had found a ''female digging a burrow and lining it wit

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Hwang ghost appears at stem cell conference

By | June 19, 2007

The spectre of linkurl:Hwang Woo-Suk;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53277/ has raised its head a couple of times at the annual meeting of the linkurl:International Society for Stem Cell Research;http://www.isscr.org/meetings in Cairns, Australia. On Monday, incoming ISSCR president George Daley, from Children's Hospital Boston, was describing the potential value of deriving stem cells parthenogenetically when he mentioned the name which pricks up everyone's ears. Daley said that ana

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Dutch postdocs treated like royalty

By | June 15, 2007

Thanks in part to our linkurl:Best Places to Work as a Postdoc;http://www.the-scientist.com/2006/3/1/53/1/ surveys, 150 postdocs throughout The Netherlands will be spending three days in a four-star hotel in Bergen. That's according to Peter Peters, dean of postdoc affairs at linkurl:The Netherlands Cancer Institute;http://www.nki.nl/, which just won a 100,000-euro grant from linkurl:The Association of Dutch Universities;http://www.vsnu.nl/web/show/id=40917/langid=42 to expand its training progr

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Steve Nissen goes 0 for 2

By | June 14, 2007

An FDA advisory panel has ''unanimously rejected Acomplia, a weight-loss drug from Sanofi-Aventis, on concerns the drug increases the number of psychiatric events like depression and suicidal thinking among users,'' Dow Jones Newswires linkurl:reported;http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118174200915533871.html yesterday. That means it's at least the second time in under a year that Steven Nissen has been wrong about the promise of new drugs. Nissen, of course, is the well-known Cleveland Clinic ca

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Hwang looking overseas?

By | June 12, 2007

Woo-Suk Hwang, the South Korean scientist who admitted to faking his results on embryonic stem cells, is exploring whether to join an international consortium, according to Korean linkurl:news;http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/tech/2007/06/129_4446.html reports. According to multiple unnamed sources, Hwang is in Thailand where he is debating whether to work with foreign biotechnology companies, including one "prominent" US company. Once a national hero, Hwang left his post at Seoul National

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How should NIH improve peer review?

By | June 8, 2007

Today, the NIH linkurl:announced;http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/jun2007/od-08.htm that it was establishing two working groups to examine its peer review process. That process has been under increased scrutiny recently, as study sections have needed to read more and more grant applications with every cycle. And with NIH funding flat, it's no longer good enough to be in the top 30% or so to get funded; in some study sections, it's close to 10%. So many scientists may find the examination welcome. In

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News as a conversation at The Scientist

By | June 4, 2007

In our linkurl:latest issue;http://www.the-scientist.com/toc/2007/6/ of the magazine you'll find two features that provide a flavor of how our content will be evolving over the coming months to encourage user participation on our website. Regular visitors to our website will already be familiar with the linkurl:crowdsourcing;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crowdsourcing experiment that linkurl:we launched in April;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53034 . We asked readers to help create a

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Cat-astrophe averted?

By | June 1, 2007

Two customers who deposited several thousand dollars for a hypoallergenic cat from a company I linkurl:investigated;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/39383/ earlier this year have written to The Scientist saying they were denied kitties, and got their money back. Lynne Butler, a mathematics professor at Haverford College, received a $5,900 wire transfer from Allerca, Inc after she posted a linkurl:comment;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/52947/ on our website that she had n

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