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Another stem cell court victory

By | February 27, 2007

Even though California started linkurl:distributing stem cell funding;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/52856/ this month, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) is still fighting for its survival in court. On Monday (February 26), a state appeals court upheld a linkurl:2006 verdict;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/23342/-legal verdict by a lower court judge, who said the organization was did not violate the constitution. But opponents of the California stem

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In Oscar season, biology on film

By | February 26, 2007

When biologists at the Wildlife Conservation Society in the Bronx heard last fall that a beaver was making New York City home for the first time in 200 years, they were understandably excited. Unlike some other biologists, however -- say, those who said they had seen an linkurl:ivory-billed woodpecker;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/84/ in 2005 -- the Bronx group made sure they caught Jose the beaver, on a video everyone could agree was actually a beaver, before linkurl:announcing it t

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What agouti can tell us about diet

By | February 26, 2007

We've linkurl:written in the past;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/24535/ about Randy Jirtle's agouti mice, which are a neat animal model for epigenetic change. Feed adult mothers a methyl-rich or genistein-rich diet, and DNA methylation lowers expression of the agouti gene in their offspring, shifting their coat color away from the classic agouti yellow and also protecting from obesity, which is associated with normal expression of the gene. Jirtle and colleagues have a new study

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Calif. funds stem cell research -- really

By | February 19, 2007

If it was April, I'd say it was an April Fool's joke. But it's February, and it's true -- California is actually distributing funds for human embryonic stem cell research. The linkurl:California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM);http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/23342/ on Friday (Feb 16) approved $45 million worth of grants to 20 academic and non-profit California institutions. The organization remains linkurl:tied up in never-ending;http://www.the-scientist.co

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Still hungry for tenure, but not food

By | February 19, 2007

James Sherley, the beleaguered MIT professor who linkurl:went on hunger strike;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/40635/ to protest the institution's decision to deny him tenure, started eating again on Friday (Feb 16), even though MIT has not granted him tenure. Sherley, who is African-American, claims he was denied tenure because of his ethnicity. In a statement posted on the MIT Web site, Sherley announced he was ending his 12-day fast "in celebration of the attention that has

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Still hungry for tenure...

By | February 16, 2007

This just in from freelance reporter Ishani Ganguli: More than a week into his linkurl:tenure-or-bust hunger strike;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/40635/, MIT associate professor James Sherley reports he has lost 14 pounds but none of his resolve to reverse what he alleges was a racism-driven decision to deny him tenure. Sherley, who has ingested only water and multivitamins since February 5, told The Scientist he is feeling weak but otherwise okay. The African-American stem cell r

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Walsh discloses conflicts -- five years later

By | February 14, 2007

In December, I linkurl:wrote about the fact;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/39136/ that NIH researcher Thomas Walsh, who has faced scrutiny over funding he has received and failed to disclose from drug companies, had apparently failed to disclose conflicts of interest in a paper published in the January 1, 2007 Clinical Infectious Diseases. Now, it seems, journal editors are starting to catch up with stories reporting Walsh's conflicts. In the New England Journal of Medicine that lande

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A new Darwin revolution?

By | February 12, 2007

With Darwin day celebrations going on around the world, people are looking back on a man that changed science as part of a larger cultural revolution away from using theology to explain natural phenomenon and toward a more secular thinking. One wonders, however, where the next such revolution might take place. From where will the next groundbreaking scientific discovery that truly challenges the tenets of our social understanding come from? I'd offer -- linkurl:and I know I'm not the first;htt

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A $25 million V-prize

By | February 10, 2007

Virgin's millions are up for grabs. What's a biologist to do? Tycoon Richard Branson offered another $25 million to combat global warming (he pledged $3 billion in September). This time he's taking a page from X-prize folks, offering the money as a prize for the best design of a plan for removing ?significant volumes of anthropogenic, atmospheric greenhouse gases.? Although the official rules are a bit hazy on what a ?significant amount? means (they are far less hazy on publicity rights and s

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Rosalind Franklin Papers (a lesson in lab communication)

By | February 6, 2007

The NIH National Library of Medicine posted an extensive collection of linkurl:Rosalind Franklin's correspondence and lab notebooks;http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/KR/ online. In addition to documenting her work on the structure of Tobacco Mosaic Virus with J.D. Bernal and some of her other important scientific contributions, several sources pertain to the linkurl:now infamous;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/15789/ years from 1951 to 1953; spent at J.T. Randall's lab in King's College.

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