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Judah Folkman dies

By | January 15, 2008

Judah Folkman, a proponent of the idea that halting angiogenesis could starve tumors, died yesterday at the age of 74. According to news reports, the cause of death was a heart attack. The promise of anti-angiogenesis therapies led to many high hopes for Folkman's work, particularly when the New York Times ran a linkurl:1998 story;http://www.amazon.com/Dr-Folkmans-War-Angiogenesis-Struggle/dp/0375502440 quoting James Watson's prediction that Folkman would cure cancer in two years. Folkman "wa

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Let's grow organs

By | January 15, 2008

This week's news about researchers growing a new heart from baby cells was exciting, no doubt - a team of researchers from the University of Minnesota, led by Doris Taylor, grew a beating rat heart by adding heart cells from newborn rats to the scaffolding of a dead rat's heart. After only two weeks, the authors report in this month's Nature Medicine, the organ began conducting electrical impulses and pumping blood. The achievement, researchers said, suggests scientists could one day linkurl:gr

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$100 million more from Gates

By | January 14, 2008

The linkurl:Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/25259/ has established a new five-year $100 million fast-track grant program for global health research. Each project will receive $100,000, with the option of additional funding if merited. The program, which will adopt a fast-track review, is for scientists with "creative concepts" to fight global health scourges affecting developing countries, such as vaccines, drugs, and diagnostics. One of the

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How useful is ethics class?

By | January 14, 2008

PhD students and postdocs who get training in responsible conduct in research (RCR) don't absorb the lessons, especially when they've seen others break the rules before, according to a recent linkurl:report;http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=0898-9621&volume=15&issue=1&spage=30 in the journal __Accountability in Research: Policies & Quality Assurance.__ Main message: Getting rules in ethics classes is useless if the scientific community doesn't obey the rules, too. The auth

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True neural stem cells?

By | January 14, 2008

Researchers have identified a distinct group of early-stage linkurl:neural stem cells,;http://www.the-scientist.com/2007/4/1/42/1 called neural rosette cells, that can form more types of neural cells than typical neural stem cells, reports a study published today (January 14) in linkurl:__Genes & Development__.;http://www.genesdev.org As neural stem cells develop from embryonic stem cells, they form a radial pattern of epithelial cells, called rosettes. Scientists had seen the morphology befor

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Embryo biopsy harmless -- really

By | January 11, 2008

In findings that confirm linkurl:previous ones;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/24363/ ultimately dismissed as hype in 2006, scientists have shown that it is possible to create stem cells from an embryo without destroying it. In a linkurl:study;http://images.cell.com/images/EdImages/chung.pdf published online this week in __Cell Stem Cell,__ scientists led by Advanced Cell Technology's Robert Lanza removed one cell from an eight-cell embryo and created viable lines of stem cells. The e

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NIH peer review: An inside look

By | January 10, 2008

What are the most important questions and technologies that will hit your discipline within the next 10 years? Do you believe your NIH grant applications are aligned in the most appropriate study sections? Should grant reviewers serve as mentors to applicants? Last month, I sat down with Antonio Scarpa, director of the Center for Scientific Review, the gateway for all NIH grant applications, to discuss these and other questions. The occasion was the agency's final open house, during which biome

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Goodbye to LD50?

By | January 9, 2008

Drug companies should stop using a classic toxicity test, lethal dose 50 (LD50), to inform clinical trials, according to authors in an upcoming journal of Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology linkurl:report.;http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=MImg&_imagekey=B6WPT-4R8WK2M-1-1&_cdi=6999&_user=10&_orig=browse&_coverDate=12%2F05%2F2007&_sk=999999999&view=c&wchp=dGLbVlz-zSkWW&md5=db03ae20cfcfde5f302c238ad0633bbc&ie=/sdarticle.pdf Mouse data of a drug's LD50, the dose of a drug that kills 50%

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Elsevier gets spammed

By | January 8, 2008

Anyone get an Email that looks like it's from Elsevier, asking for papers? Only, it's not really Elsevier, and you shouldn't click on any of the links. The Email, entitled "Elsevier: Building insights; breaking boundaries" and signed by Peter Throwher (Prof.), asks researchers to submit manuscripts in "all fields of human Endeavor." The message is quite bizarre in spots. "Papers submitted will be sorted out and published in any of our numerous journals that best

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New networking site for scientists

By | January 8, 2008

There's a new kid on the ever-growing virtual bock of social networking websites. Last year I wrote about how scientists might use these linkurl:sites;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/53233/ to optimize their impact in the scientific community, and a new social networking website geared specifically toward life scientists is set to go live this month. linkurl:BioMedExperts.com;http://www.biomedexperts.com/ compiles information about authors whose research papers appear on PubMed, s

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