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Australia gets another part-time science advisor

By | March 1, 2006

More than eight months after Australia's last Chief Scientist, Robin Batterham, stepped down from the post, the government has named Jim Peacock, president of the Australian Academy of Science, as his successor. Peacock, a plant scientist, has been given a ringing endorsement from many in the research world. John Mullarvey, CEO of the Australian Vice-Chancellor's Committee, for example, said he had made a strong contribution to science both nationally and internationally. ?I am sure [he] will

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Hooray for boobies

By | March 1, 2006

I went to the Franklin Institute last night to watch a test screening of linkurl:Galapagos;http://www.mnh.si.edu/expeditions/galapagos/ a 1999 IMAX film that may be returning to the screen in Philadelphia. The movie is gorgeous, presenting the Galapagos islands as a ?little world within themselves? quoting Darwin, and one ?still in the process of creation,? marking the only time the c-word gets used. From the sparse, seemingly uninhabitiable volcanic lava floes, to shorelines teeming with stra

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Fighting for the right to research

By | February 28, 2006

Scientists from both sides of the pond are taking dramatic steps to save animal research. Days after researchers and animal rights groups linkurl:staged parallel protests;http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060225/sc_nm/rights_britain_animals_dc about the future of Oxford labs in the UK, Ohio State University primate researcher Sally Boysen and other protestors physically chained themselves to a gate outside a chimpanzee center slated for closure. linkurl:According to;http://www.ohio.com/mld/beaconjo

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When journal editors get fired

By | February 23, 2006

When our news editor, Alison McCook, emailed me yesterday to tell me that the editors of the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) linkurl:had been sacked,;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/23140/ I had a bit of déjà vu. Just over seven years ago, I received a similar email from a colleague at JAMA, where I had recently finished a stint as co-editor in chief of the medical student section. JAMA?s editor, George Lundberg, with whom I had worked and whom I still consider a close ment

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Stem cells for heart disease? First things first

By | February 22, 2006

The linkurl:Keystone Symposium;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/23134/ I?m at this week in Santa Fe is billed as being about two related subjects: the molecular mechanisms of cardiac disease and the molecular mechanisms of regeneration. And while the talks on regeneration ? that translates here roughly into stem cell therapy ? are mostly scheduled for today (Wednesday) and tomorrow, the use of stem cells to regenerate the heart is already the loud buzz at poster sessions, and is at leas

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From bench to emergency room bedside

By | February 21, 2006

How do you move from elegantly constructed mouse knockouts like the ones presented at the linkurl:Keystone Symposium on Molecular Mechanisms of Cardiac Disease and Regeneration;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/23130/ here in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to pesky wild-type humans who often seem to court heart attacks? If you?re linkurl:Elizabeth Nabel,;http://www.genome.gov/17015041 director of the linkurl:National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute,;http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/new/press/05-01-26.ht

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The name game

By | February 21, 2006

It?s a no-brainer that people who share last names usually share genes as well. I, for one, am often asked if I?m related to the Indian cricket player Sourav Ganguly. (Sadly, no.) But now there?s a scientific linkurl:study;http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=16488872&query_hl=8&itool=pubmed_docsum to back up such questions. The research, which focuses on paternal lineages, verifies what we all would have guessed: that sharing a surname inc

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Using FACS in the brain

By | February 21, 2006

This week?s advance online publication of __Nature Neuroscience__ linkurl:details a neat new technique;http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/nn1654.html called FACS-array profiling, which should be of interest to anyone studying central nervous system development. X. William Yang and colleagues at the University of California, Los Angeles, used transgenic mice from the linkurl:GENSAT;http://www.gensat.org (gene expression nervous system atlas) project to compare gene expression

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Baffled by ESOF's newsletter

By | February 20, 2006

I think anyone who received last week's Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) linkurl:newsletter;http://www.esof2006.org/blog_list.php4 would have been forgiven for wondering why the main article was entitled ?What is Islamism?? ESOF is a science meeting and its emailed newsletters are presumably designed to build interest levels prior to the event. Previous editions had covered fairly routine territory?lasers, neurons, galaxies, microbes, science journalists and the origin of the universe?which made t

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Epigenetics and the heart

By | February 20, 2006

Epigenetics and chromatin remodeling, it turns out, may play a role in heart disease. In one of two keynote addresses that opened the Keystone Symposia?s meeting on Molecular Mechanisms of Cardiac Disease and Regeneration here in Santa Fe, New Mexico, linkurl:Eric Olson;http://hamon.swmed.edu/faculty/olson2001.html showed why he?s received a number of awards from the American Heart Association, and why one of his earlier papers, linking calcineurin to cardiac hypertrophy, was a linkurl:Hot Paper

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