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Birds of a feather

By | June 26, 2008

In the largest ever study of bird genetics, a five-year international collaboration has redrawn the avian family tree. The report, published in Science this week (June 27), proposes surprising new classifications and suggests that environmental adaptations arose multiple times in bird history. "It's an important paper that represents a very comprehensive study," said linkurl:Larry Martin,;http://www.nhm.ku.edu/paleontology/ldmartin.htm Curator of the National History Museum at the University

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NIH funding increase stalled

By | June 26, 2008

A spending bill that would increase the National Institutes of Health 2009 budget by $1.2 billion over President Bush's linkurl:proposed NIH budget;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54277/ was sidelined by partisan wrangling in the full House Committee on Appropriations today (June 26). "[Bush's] budget would result in 6,000 medical research scientists who will no longer be able to get their research funded," said Representative linkurl:David Obey;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/di

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Stem cell patents final in US, debated in Europe

By | June 26, 2008

After three contentious stem cell patents were upheld in the US earlier this year, the debate over one of the patents continues this week in Europe. The Board of Appeal at the European Patent Office heard a dispute on Tuesday (June 24) on awarding a patent to the US stem cell technology. The technology in question is covered by one of the three patents held by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). It includes methods to culture and maintain primate embryonic stem cells derived from

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Conflict probe turns to Stanford

By | June 25, 2008

The irascible conflict of interest hunter, linkurl:Senator Charles Grassley;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54561/ (R-IA), has set his sights on a Stanford University psychiatrist who's running a federally funded clinical trial on a drug made by the same company in which he owns millions of dollars in stock. The psychiatrist is linkurl:Alan Schatzberg,;http://med.stanford.edu/profiles/Alan_Schatzberg and he is the chair of the psychiatry department at Stanford's School of Medicine. Sc

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Science nabs lying fisherman

By | June 25, 2008

A man attempting to cheat his way into a $500 prize for catching a hefty Chinook linkurl:salmon;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/12212/ was recently foiled by one of the most basic tenets of fisheries biology: if you know a fish's length, you can pretty accurately predict its weight. You see, a primary tool that fisheries biologists use to assess the health or habitat quality of different fish species or populations is what they call a linkurl:length-weight regression.;http://www.mi

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UK to boost clinical trial participation

By | June 25, 2008

The UK government will take steps to make sure patients are better informed of opportunities to participate in clinical trials, according to the country's health minister. Doctors in the UK "already have a duty to advise patients, in each patient's best interest, about all aspects of their treatment, including research," a UK Department of Health spokesperson told __The Scientist__ in an Email. But UK Secretary of State for Health linkurl:Alan Johnson,;http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/Page630

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GSK donates genomic data

By | June 24, 2008

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) linkurl:announced;http://us.gsk.com/html/media-news/pressreleases/2008/2008_us_pressrelease_10097.htm plans on Friday (June 20th), to donate genomic profiles of more than 300 cancer cell lines to the caBIG database, a government bioinformatics initiative. Data from these cell lines will be freely available to researchers around the world. The cell lines were derived from breast, prostate, lung, ovarian, and other tumors. "We hope this data will further drive the identific

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NJ stalls stem cell plans

By | June 24, 2008

New Jersey officials have pulled funds for the construction of a linkurl:state stem cell institute;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/22357/ which broke ground eight months ago. Governor Jon Corzine told linkurl:The Star Ledger;http://www.nj.com/newark/index.ssf/2008/06/state_pulls_back_on_stem_cell.html only that the plans are on an indefinite hold and state leaders are reevaluating the project. The New Jersey Stem Cell Institute is a $150 million project intended to be an 18-story

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Seven questions for Congress

By | June 24, 2008

With all the obsession over who will take over the White House in 2009, it's easy to forget that November will see linkurl:hundreds of other;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/54458/ US national elections. These will concern Congress, and could have major impacts on science policy. To that end, linkurl:Scientists and Engineers for America and 15 other societies;http://sefora.org/2008/06/19/action-alert-ask-your-congressman-about-science-today/ have sent linkurl:seven questions;http://

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PubMed up for public service award

By | June 23, 2008

The director of the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) was chosen as a finalist last week (June 18) to receive a national public service award for developing PubMed Central. "I think it's a recognition of the value of PubMed Central," linkurl:David Lipman,;http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/CBBresearch/Lipman/ who launched PubMed Central in 2000, told The Scientist. "For that, I'm really thrilled." The award, called the Service to America Citizen Services Medal, has been presented

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