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Transgenic primates transmit DNA

By | May 27, 2009

Japanese researchers have successfully generated the world's first transgenic primates capable of passing on a foreign gene to their offspring. The feat, linkurl:reported; in tomorrow's (May 28) issue of __Nature__, should pave the way for more sophisticated models of human disease, though the monkey models still have many hurdles to overcome. Transgenic marmoset twins Kei and Kou("keikou" means fluorescence in Japanese)Image:

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Report: Collins to lead NIH

By | May 26, 2009

Francis Collins, the geneticist who led the Human Genome Project, is close to taking over the top spot at the National Institutes of Health, according to a linkurl:report;,0,5889122.story by __Bloomberg News__. Collins, who was the director of the NIH's National Human Genome Research Institute from 1993 to 2008, is in the final stages of being screened by the administration of US President Barack Obama, an unnamed source told _


New tool for African genomics

By | May 24, 2009

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in Africa are not as straightforward as such research among populations of people of European or Asian ancestry, because African populations are much more genetically diverse. But researchers studying malaria resistance in western Africa say they've found a way to make African GWAS work. An international team of researchers report in this week's issue of __Nature Genetics__ that it's possible to perform genome-wide studies to probe for genes behind disease


Video: The oceans of old

By | May 24, 2009

In the distant past giant cod (1.5 meters long) ruled the North Sea. Southern oceans boiled with massive pods of right whales. Gangs of 4-meter-long porpoises cavorted off the British Isles. These are but a few of the surprises turned up by an international team of marine researchers who scoured old ship logs, fishbone-littered middens, Latin and Greek verse, tax accounts, dusty legal documents, and even mounted trophies to paint a picture of oceans past. Marine scientists compiled the data as

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Fossil frenzy

By | May 21, 2009

On Tuesday, the world met "Ida" -- a 47-million-year-old primate fossil touted as a "REVOLUTIONARY SCIENTIFIC FIND THAT WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING," according to a press release. The media went berserk.__ linkurl:Google News; __now lists more than 750 articles relating to little ol' __Darwinius masillae__ -- and the search engine itself even changed the lettering on its linkurl:logo;


NIH's new rare disease push

By | May 21, 2009

The National Institutes of Health has thrown its hat into the drug development ring with the announcement of a new program that will seek to bring drugs that treat rare and neglected diseases onto the market. "This is a tremendously important initiative for people with rare diseases," Peter Saltonstall, president of the linkurl:National Organization for Rare Disorders; (NORD), said in a linkurl:statement.; "There are nearly 7,000


To wake or not to wake?

By | May 21, 2009

New evidence provides clues about the role of a key sleep-related brain activity pattern in the brain: this waveform may help keep the mind asleep through nonthreatening disturbances, rather than wake it up as previous studies have suggested, a paper in this week's Science reports. Image: Wikipedia The brain pattern in question, called the K-complex (KC), is the largest characterized neurological event in the healthy human brain. Common throughout certain sleep stages, the KC is defined by a br


Magneto-ants pump iron

By | May 20, 2009

Researchers have discovered the basis for the magnetic personalities of migratory ants. These social insects integrate magnetic soil nanoparticles into their antennae to help them navigate the forests of South America, according to a study published online today (May 20) in the __Journal of the Royal Society Interface__. A Pachycondyla marginata antattacking a termiteImage: Alex WildThe study is a "great integration of physics and biology," linkurl:Robert Srygley,;


Tumors spur depression

By | May 18, 2009

Tumors can cause classic symptoms of depression in rats, according to linkurl:a new study published online in PNAS; this week. Image: linkurl:Understanding Animal Research; "What's really cool about this paper is that it shows without a doubt that there are depressive-like behaviors induced in these rats before these rats become [sick]," said linkurl:Keith Kelley,;http://www.iib.uiuc.e


Obama names new CDC chief

By | May 15, 2009

President Barack Obama today (May 15) named New York City health chief Thomas Frieden to the top spot at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Obama praised Frieden, who spearheaded anti-smoking and cancer screening campaigns in his seven years as commissioner New York City's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, calling him "an expert in preparedness and response to health emergencies" in a linkurl:statement.;


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