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UK proposes strict stem cell rules

By | January 23, 2008

UK scientists are objecting to a new law that would require researchers wishing to work on embryonic stem cells to obtain consent from the cells' donors. Yesterday (January 21), 29 researchers, including three Nobel laureates, published a linkurl:letter;http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/letters/article3221046.ece in the Times arguing that while such consent should be required in the future, obtaining it retroactively for cell lines and disease-specific tissue banks already inexistence w

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1000 genome project launched

By | January 22, 2008

An international consortium linkurl:announced;http://www.1000genomes.org/ today (Jan 22) a plan to sequence at least 1000 genomes from people all over the world. "The 1000 Genome Project" seeks to assemble the most comprehensive map yet of human genetic variation. The project will be supported by the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in England, the Beijing Genomics Institute, Shenzhen (BGI Shenzhen) in China, and the National Institutes of Health's National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)

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Banned UNH prof. reinstated

By | January 22, 2008

I just got a call from John Collins, former chair of the biochemistry and molecular biology department at the University of New Hampshire, who told me that as of today he is officially reinstated as a professor. Collins had been banned from campus since last June after an incident involving another professor, and then dean of research, Stacia Sower, which you can read about linkurl:here;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53383/ and linkurl:here.;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/

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Greasing the academic wheel

By | January 22, 2008

Petrochemical companies hold too much sway over research at some US universities, according to a science watchdog group. The Center for Science in the Public Interest released a linkurl:report;http://cspinet.org/new/pdf/bigoilu.pdf yesterday (Jan 21) that surveyed a handful of major universities and found that several grant large oil corporations access to the research and publication processes in exchange for funding biofuel or other global warming-themed research program. Among these universit

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NIH meetings move west

By | January 22, 2008

NIH peer reviewers based on the West Coast now have less far to travel for study section meetings, according to the Center for Scientific Review, the gateway for all NIH grant applications. For reviewers based far away from DC who have lamented the burden of traveling to Washington for study section meetings, the agency says half of scientific review officers will hold one meeting in Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, or San Francisco in 2008. All SROs will do so by 2009, according to in Peer Revie

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Peer reviewed, or just blogged?

By | January 22, 2008

A University of California, San Diego communications professor is starting an unusual experiment today (Jan 22): He's testing whether a large online community of academic bloggers are better at peer review than a few hand-picked experts. To compare the two review methods, Noah Wardrip-Fruin is posting excerpts from his new book about video games onto the linkurl:blog;http://grandtextauto.org/ Grand Text Auto, run by himself and five colleagues. He linkurl:told;http://chronicle.com/free/2008

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Stem cell trial death

By | January 22, 2008

A nine-year-old girl enrolled in a stem cell therapy trial has died, according to the company running the trial, StemCells, Inc. An independent committee ruled that the death was not caused by the stem cell treatment. The girl was one of six children being treated for a neurodegenerative disorder -- called Batten Disease -- with transplants of linkurl:neural stem cells;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54169/ derived from fetal tissue. Nature's stem cell blog linkurl:The Niche;http:

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US Agro debate continues

By | January 21, 2008

Two government agencies continue to bicker over how to protect US borders from agroterrorism and invasive species, which critics -- including a major congressional oversight committee -- say has left the country ill-equipped to handle either crisis. In 2003, antiterrorist legislation transferred control of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), which monitors the borders for agricultural pests and conducts much of the country's research relating to linkurl:agroterrorism,;http:/

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Do women blog about science?

By | January 19, 2008

When we asked readers who their linkurl:favorite science bloggers;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/home/53596/ were last year, we started the discussion by reaching out to a number of leading science bloggers. The bloggers who responded were all men, and most of the blogs they recommended were written by men. So perhaps understandably, GrrlScientist and others linkurl:wondered why we hadn't asked any women science bloggers about their favorites. ;http://scienceblogs.com/grrlscientist/2007/09/fa

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Science blogging conf.: Ethics, please

By | January 19, 2008

Do science bloggers need a code of ethics? Should they disclose conflicts of interest? Moderate comments? Protect anonymous colleagues? Those were some of the questions raised at the first session, led by linkurl:Janet Stemwedel, ;http://scienceblogs.com/ethicsandscience/ that I went to today at the linkurl:North Carolina Science Blogging Conference. ;http://wiki.scienceblogging.com/scienceblogging/ It's the second such conference, and I was stimulated enough by last year's to come back. (I ev

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