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Victimless leather, R.I.P.

By | May 8, 2008

Victimless Leather, one of the works on show at the Museum of Modern Art's Design and the Elastic Mind exhibition, has claimed a victim: itself. Exhibition curator, Paola Antonelli, pulled the plug on the piece's life-support system last week, effectively "killing" the project, according to linkurl:The Art Newspaper.; linkurl:Victimless Leather; was a miniature "leather" jacket, made up of a


Platypus genome published

By | May 7, 2008

The platypus joins the ranks of linkurl:fruit flies,; linkurl:rice,; linkurl:humans,; and other subjects of intense genetic study with the linkurl:publication; of its genome sequence today (May 7) in __Nature__. Researchers say that exploring the genome of the platypus, which sits at a u


Fat cell numbers fixed in adults

By | May 5, 2008

The number of linkurl:fat cells; in a person's body is determined during childhood and stays constant throughout life, with about 10 percent of fat cells dying and being replaced annually, according to study published in __Nature__ yesterday (May 4). Understanding the hitherto poorly characterized dynamics of fat cell production and turnover may help researchers target key processes in obesity and related diseases, such as diabetes. "We are ge


Antitrust probe spurs disease review

By | May 2, 2008

The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) has agreed to reassess controversial treatment guidelines for Lyme disease after an unprecedented antitrust investigation was launched against the group last year, according to the linkurl:Wall Street Journal Health Blog.; Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal linkurl:launched the investigation;


Barcoding the world's trees

By | May 2, 2008

Botanists from all over the world have convened in New York City and are hammering out plans to assemble a DNA-based linkurl:catalog; of the Earth's tree species. The scientists met yesterday (May 1) and are meeting today (May 2) at the New York Botanical Garden to discuss an effort to barcode - or identify using short, standardized stretches of genetic material - all 100,000 or so tree species on the planet. The project is called Tree-BOL, for the tr


First women to win $500,000 prize

By | May 2, 2008

The discoverer of telomerase, Elizabeth Blackburn, and Joan Steitz, known for identifying small ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) and elucidating their role in DNA transcription, were awarded the $500,000 Albany Medical Center Prize today (May 2). They are the first women to receive the prize, which has been awarded since the year 2000. Blackburn, at the University of California, San Francisco, was recognized for her work on telomeres with the 2006 linkurl:Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research;http


How to track a stem cell

By | May 1, 2008

Before therapies using human embryonic stem cells can be approved by the Food and Drug Administration, researchers will have to answer one key question: where do the cells go when they are injected into the patient? During an FDA meeting earlier this linkurl:month; on the safety of embryonic stem cell therapies, the agency grappled with the issues of tracking stem cells in vivo. Regardl


Publisher gives authors copyright

By | May 1, 2008

A medical publisher has changed its copyright policy to ease the process for authors to comply with the federal public access mandate. Starting today (May 1), authors will automatically retain copyright of manuscripts submitted to Rockefeller University Press journals, according to an linkurl:editorial; published yesterday in the Journal of Cell Biology. Giving copyrights to authors streamlines the process of submitting articles to PubMed Centra

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Creationist postdoc loses lawsuit

By | April 29, 2008

A Massachusetts federal court judge last week (April 22) dismissed the case against a researcher at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution who allegedly fired a postdoc in his lab because of the postdoc's creationist beliefs. The postdoc, Nathaniel Abraham, was dismissed from his position in the lab of molecular toxicologist linkurl:Mark Hahn; in November, 2004, after revealing that he believed in the literal truth of the Bible a


Biotech in space?

By | April 28, 2008

Can the biotech and pharma make money in space? That was the question Congress posed at a hearing on the International Space Station's linkurl:future,; held on Thursday (April 24). "I think I can," Tom Pickens, CEO of a spaceflight services company-turned biotech called SPACEHAB, told Congress. SPACEHAB has been sending up science payloads for the past 23 years. The company has mostly worked with government scientists, but when Pickens j


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