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Senate okays expanded stem cell funding

By | July 18, 2006

In a largely symbolic victory for biomedical research, the Senate today (July 18) approved a linkurl:controversial bill; (HR 810) to extend Federal research funding to newly derived human embryonic stem cells (hESC). The legislation faces a veto from President Bush, who opposes the expansion of funding on ethical grounds. Indeed, on Monday (July 17) the White House reaffirmed the president?s intention to veto the bill. After 12 hours of discussi


What do you mean by ?embryo??

By | July 16, 2006

?It?s how we describe the thing that almost makes more of a difference than what it is.? These words, from linkurl:Patricia Alt; of Towson University in Maryland, are particularly applicable to hot button issues in bioethics, particularly the ever-raging debate over using embryos for stem cell research. At linkurl:this week?s; conference on linkurl:Bioethics & Politics,;


Civility and civil disobedience

By | July 14, 2006

The linkurl:Bioethics & Politics; conference hosted by the Albany Medical College got off to a bang today, not a whimper. As participants trickled in, networking and finding old friends, another, uninvited group calmly filed in, parked in front of the room, and started shouting at the tops of their lungs. The protesters, around 30 or so, were from linkurl:Not Dead Yet,; a disability rights group that is against legalized euthanasia and oth

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Venter Institute tests 454?s mettle

By | July 11, 2006

A linkurl:paper; published this week in PNAS provides a possible glimpse at the near-term future of linkurl:next-gen sequencing; technologies. Susanne Goldberg, Justin Johnson, and colleagues at the J. Craig Venter Institute compared the cost of sequencing six marine microbial genomes using traditional Sanger sequencing chemistry (using an Applied Biosystems 3730xl), 454 Life Sciences? pyrosequ


Sudbo: repeat offender

By | July 3, 2006

It looks like Norwegian researcher Jon Sudbo, who hit the headlines earlier this year for linkurl:fabricating; data for a Lancet paper has been at the data fraud game for quite some time. That?s the conclusion of a report made public on Friday by a commission set up to probe his research career. The commission members found that most of his 38 scientific publications were riddled with manipulation and fabrication of raw data. Even his doctoral dis


An inspiring hypoxia experiment

By | June 28, 2006

Jane Tomlinson, who is living with advanced breast cancer, starts her grueling 4200 mile, US-spanning bike ride to raise money for cancer research this Friday in San Francisco. According to her linkurl:Website,; she?s run three London marathons, the NYC marathon, and completed the Ironman triathalon among other extreme exercise fundraisers since she was told nearly six years ago that she had six months to live. She?s been quoted as saying that she expects this to be t

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Hwang heads back to the bench

By | June 28, 2006

The remarkable tale of linkurl:disgraced; South Korean researcher Hwang Woo-suk has taken another startling twist. It turns out he?s planning to open his own lab in Seoul next month, using private money to do conduct linkurl:animal cloning; and perhaps human embryonic stem cell research. Nobody will need reminding of Hwang?s high-profile woes. Once a national hero, he was forced to leave his post


More food + no exercise = weight gain. Really?

By | June 28, 2006

From an Endocrine Society linkurl:press release; describing a study presented at their national conference this week: 'Our preliminary results indicate that body weight is compromised and weight goes up when people are exposed to an environment with unlimited availability of palatable food and low levels of daily activity,' said University of Chicago researcher Plamen Penev. Stop the presses! Read further, and you


Cloning ban to stay down under?

By | June 19, 2006

Australian stem cell researchers got some bad news today when newspapers reported that senior ministers in the national government are going to ignore the linkurl:advice; of an independent review that had recommended somatic cell nuclear transfer be permitted for research. That might have been the advice, but at a Cabinet meeting today ministers are expected to retain the status quo. Two of the main figures behind the decision are health minister

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Biodiversity gets its 15 minutes

By | June 15, 2006

Last evening, during Edward O. Wilson?s Baptist sermon-like address to an auditorium of 600 diverse faces at the American Museum of Natural History, the environment and its advocates got a bit of a pep talk. With the eminent naturalist?s signature articulacy, humor, and frankness (take "Soccer moms are the greatest enemy of natural history," or "It might have been a big mistake to give economics a Nobel Prize"), he took on the case for studying and preserving biodiversity. N

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