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A $25 million V-prize

By | February 10, 2007

Virgin's millions are up for grabs. What's a biologist to do? Tycoon Richard Branson offered another $25 million to combat global warming (he pledged $3 billion in September). This time he's taking a page from X-prize folks, offering the money as a prize for the best design of a plan for removing ?significant volumes of anthropogenic, atmospheric greenhouse gases.? Although the official rules are a bit hazy on what a ?significant amount? means (they are far less hazy on publicity rights and s


Rosalind Franklin Papers (a lesson in lab communication)

By | February 6, 2007

The NIH National Library of Medicine posted an extensive collection of linkurl:Rosalind Franklin's correspondence and lab notebooks; online. In addition to documenting her work on the structure of Tobacco Mosaic Virus with J.D. Bernal and some of her other important scientific contributions, several sources pertain to the linkurl:now infamous; years from 1951 to 1953; spent at J.T. Randall's lab in King's College.


French Anderson sentenced to 14 years

By | February 3, 2007

French Anderson was sentenced today (Feb 2) to 14 years in prison, after he was linkurl:found guilty; last summer of four counts of molestation. His victim, now 19 years old, is the daughter of his colleague, and the abuse started when she was 10 years old. Soon after the conviction, the University of Southern California (USC) released a statement that it had suspended Anderson and was initiating dismissal proceedings to remove his tenure and fac


Why you can?t smell infidelity

By | January 30, 2007

Some data have shown, not quite conclusively, that the major histocompatibility complex profile of a man plays some role in the type of woman he attracts. Women prefer non-matching MHC profiles, sometimes, but not all the time. These preferences haven't been followed up much in those aspects that go beyond simple mate choice. A newly published study in linkurl:__Psychological Science__; looked at 48 couples in long-term relatio


Anti-malarials, from China to Africa

By | January 26, 2007

Last month, Merrill Goozner linkurl:reported; on the success of artemisinin, in combination with other drugs, to treat malaria in Thailand and China. Reuters linkurl:reported; last week that the Li Guoqian, the first person to use artemisinin in a human trial, now wants to use artemisinin to eradicate malaria on the African island nation of Comoros. (Read Goozner's profile of Li's work linkurl:


Zerhouni for a day?

By | January 21, 2007

Ever find yourself thinking, 'boy, if I ran the NIH, things would be different?' Well, two bloggers named Geoff Davis and Peter Fiske want to give you that chance -- virtually. Yesterday, at the linkurl:North Carolina Science Blogging Conference; , Davis announced 'Zerhouni for a Day,' a linkurl:feature; on their blog soliciting comments on what you would do if you were charge of the NIH and NSF. The trends in NIH

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Public choosing science on PBS

By | January 8, 2007

The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is living up to its name, and asking the public to choose what they want to see about science. On Wednesday nights at 8 PM in January, the channel is broadcasting pilot episodes from three different TV series about science, and asking the public to decide which program deserves its own series on PBS. We have three options: "Wired Science" adopts content from Wired magazine, "Science Investigators" answers a series of scientific questions


Walsh still not disclosing conflicts?

By | December 29, 2006

Even as Federal prosecutors linkurl:may be deciding; to focus their efforts on alleged misconduct by NIH researcher linkurl:Thomas Walsh; , Walsh is apparently still not disclosing all of his potential conflicts of interest in his publications. Walsh -- who engaged in ''serious misconduct'' by accepting more than $100,000 in consulting fees from drug and biotech companies without disclosing the


FDA: Clone it, then eat it

By | December 28, 2006

Good news for those of you who have been keeping a cloned T-bone in your freezer waiting to see if it's safe to eat: In an announcement that surprised no one, the FDA today linkurl:gingerly said; that it's OK to eat cloned cows and pigs. Cloned milk and meat more than likely won't even need a label. The timing of the announcement suggests that the FDA wanted as little scrutiny of the report as possible ?- the week before Christmas and New Yea


The eponymy game

By | December 19, 2006

I love a good bit of unintentional levity. One of my favorite discoveries is when an interviewee -- one of our own or even in another publication -- has a name that fits their field just a little too well. Now, call me a suspicious Aloysius, but when it happens twice in a week, in the same publication, I start getting wary. Today Jane Brody for the __New York Times__ writes on the linkurl:important exercises; for maintaining health in aging

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