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Steve Nissen goes 0 for 2

By | June 14, 2007

An FDA advisory panel has ''unanimously rejected Acomplia, a weight-loss drug from Sanofi-Aventis, on concerns the drug increases the number of psychiatric events like depression and suicidal thinking among users,'' Dow Jones Newswires linkurl:reported;http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118174200915533871.html yesterday. That means it's at least the second time in under a year that Steven Nissen has been wrong about the promise of new drugs. Nissen, of course, is the well-known Cleveland Clinic ca

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Hwang looking overseas?

By | June 12, 2007

Woo-Suk Hwang, the South Korean scientist who admitted to faking his results on embryonic stem cells, is exploring whether to join an international consortium, according to Korean linkurl:news;http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/tech/2007/06/129_4446.html reports. According to multiple unnamed sources, Hwang is in Thailand where he is debating whether to work with foreign biotechnology companies, including one "prominent" US company. Once a national hero, Hwang left his post at Seoul National

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How should NIH improve peer review?

By | June 8, 2007

Today, the NIH linkurl:announced;http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/jun2007/od-08.htm that it was establishing two working groups to examine its peer review process. That process has been under increased scrutiny recently, as study sections have needed to read more and more grant applications with every cycle. And with NIH funding flat, it's no longer good enough to be in the top 30% or so to get funded; in some study sections, it's close to 10%. So many scientists may find the examination welcome. In

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News as a conversation at The Scientist

By | June 4, 2007

In our linkurl:latest issue;http://www.the-scientist.com/toc/2007/6/ of the magazine you'll find two features that provide a flavor of how our content will be evolving over the coming months to encourage user participation on our website. Regular visitors to our website will already be familiar with the linkurl:crowdsourcing;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crowdsourcing experiment that linkurl:we launched in April;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53034 . We asked readers to help create a

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Cat-astrophe averted?

By | June 1, 2007

Two customers who deposited several thousand dollars for a hypoallergenic cat from a company I linkurl:investigated;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/39383/ earlier this year have written to The Scientist saying they were denied kitties, and got their money back. Lynne Butler, a mathematics professor at Haverford College, received a $5,900 wire transfer from Allerca, Inc after she posted a linkurl:comment;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/52947/ on our website that she had n

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Wanna be a marine rock star?

By | May 18, 2007

The band The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets is inviting marine biologists to be in their new music video for a song about -- yes, of course, marine biology. You can catch the linkurl:song;http://www.thickets.net/toren/darkestofthehillsidethickets.mp3 here, a ditty they call "A Marine Biologist" -- "a fun little number about bathyscaphes, benthic trawlers, giant squid, etc, " according to the band. The band's plan is to film marine biologists at work, adding text at the bottom of the screen d

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UK fraudsters, your number's up

By | May 14, 2007

All those British whistleblowers wondering who they should tell about the medical research misconduct going on under their noses now have a hotline direct to the very people who can do something about it. That's right, by calling 0844 77 00 644, anyone involved in issues related to misconduct in research can confess all to the nice people at the UK Panel for Research Integrity in Health and Biomedical Sciences. The hotline, launched, launched Friday, is reportedly completely confidential, and

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Neurogenic monkey brains

By | May 9, 2007

Last week the Journal of Neuroscience published linkurl:findings;http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=17475797&query_hl=9&itool=pubmed_docsum suggesting antidepressant treatment stimulates neurogenesis in primates, something researchers had spotted in rodents and tree shrews previously. These results, which report neurogenesis in monkeys undergoing electroconvulsive shock (ECS), come close to confirming a hunch by linkurl:Brain Cells In

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Selling stem cells door-to-door

By | May 8, 2007

Yesterday afternoon, the front stoop on every house on my block was tagged by a bright neon piece of paper tucked into the railings. Pulling out mine, I was greeted with the message "What have your STEM CELLS done for you lately?" That was just the beginning. "Why not have your own ADULT STEM CELLS work to enhance your health?" The product is "a concentrated natural aquabotanical extract that 'wakes up' our body's stem cells and puts them to work!" For just

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Was Bono really at BIO?

By | May 8, 2007

There's a rumor going round the exhibition hall that Bono made an unannounced visit yesterday morning. Our very own director of business development, Jeremy Abbate, told me that Bono was walking around the hall and even visited our exhibition stand. Apparently Bono was attracted to our newly launched biotechnology magazine linkurl:Biotech360;http://www.biotech360.com/ , as it features the headline __Can biotechnology save the developing world__ on the front cover, though I think that he would ha

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