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News as a conversation at The Scientist

By | June 4, 2007

In our linkurl:latest issue; 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; experiment that linkurl:we launched in April; . We asked readers to help create a


Cat-astrophe averted?

By | June 1, 2007

Two customers who deposited several thousand dollars for a hypoallergenic cat from a company I linkurl:investigated; 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; on our website that she had n


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; 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


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; 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


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


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; , as it features the headline __Can biotechnology save the developing world__ on the front cover, though I think that he would ha


BIO and the Fourth Estate

By | May 7, 2007

The annual linkurl:BIO International Convention; is under way in Boston, and already TV programs, newspaper articles and blogs are fizzing with stories of the great and the good in biotechnology. But there will be one notable exception to the blanket coverage of the event. Reporters entering the press room were greeted with a sign stating that the media will not be able to attend the linkurl:keynote presentation on Tuesday;


A scientist/Chippendale dancer?

By | May 4, 2007

Anyone planning to watch "Pirate Master"? It's a new reality TV show on CBS where cameras follow 16 people as they live on a pirate ship and search the Caribbean for clues to find $1 million. I didn't even know the show existed until my online search for news brought me to the homepage of one contestant, linkurl:John Lakness; -- whose occupation is listed as "scientist/Chippendale dancer." Relax, ladies -- he'


Grief and the NAS

By | May 2, 2007

I sent a note to our editorial board member, Steve Block, to congratulate him on his linkurl:election into the National Academies of Science; this week. He got back to me mentioning that the honor was juxtaposed with grief over the recent death of "our beloved lab espresso machine." Just as I was thinking, "What an odd name for a Labrador!" I remembered the linkurl:stupendous coffee maker;http://www.stanf


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