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Inspector General: FDA flunking clinical trials oversight

By | September 28, 2007

A linkurl:report;http://www.oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-01-06-00160.pdf released today by the Department of Health and Human Services reveals that the linkurl:FDA;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/36885/ is woefully lax in monitoring clinical trials research, according to the linkurl:New York Times.;http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/28/health/policy/28fda.html?ref=health The article reports that agency officials don't know how many clinical trials are going, and that just 200 inspecto

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MRC confirms new chief

By | September 28, 2007

Stephen Pincock reports: linkurl:Leszek Borysiewicz;http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/aboutimperial/rectorandprincipalofficers/professorsirleszekborysiewicz , deputy rector of Imperial College London, was officially named today (September 28) as the next chief executive of Britain's troubled Medical Research Council, replacing Colin Blakemore who linkurl:steps down;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/52932/ this month. Borysiewicz is best known for his work on oncogenic viruses, including hum

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Scientists' beef with ID moviemakers

By | September 27, 2007

Scientists say they were duped into agreeing to interviews for an upcoming movie promoting intelligent design. In a __New York Times__ linkurl:article;http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/27/science/27expelled.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1 today, evolutionary biologist linkurl:Richard Dawkins;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/14767 says he would not have agreed to appear in the movie had he known what it was about, while anthropologist Eugenie Scott claims she was also misled. linkurl:"Expelled:

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Congress questions acting NIEHS director

By | September 26, 2007

linkurl:Samuel Wilson,;http://www.niehs.nih.gov/about/od/ad/index.cfm acting director of NIH's National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, said today that he intends to restore cuts to NIEHS programs that focus on disease prevention, long-term epidemiological research, education and outreach. His comments came at a congressional hearing held by the linkurl:House Subcommittee on Domestic Policy.;http://domesticpolicy.oversight.house.gov/ linkurl:Dennis Kucinich;http://kucinich.house.gov/

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HIV vaccine trials stopped

By | September 25, 2007

Merck linkurl:halted;http://tinyurl.com/2t76sm its Phase IIb clinical trials of an HIV vaccine last week, after data showed a lack of efficacy. According to a news release from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), "the vaccine cannot be shown in this trial to prevent HIV infection or affect the course of the disease in those who become infected with HIV." This is the same vaccine The Scientist linkurl:highlighted;http://www.the-scientist.com/2007/9/1/42/1/ this mon

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DNA barcoding in Taipei, Part 4

By | September 21, 2007

The plant barcoding group meeting here at the end of the 2nd International Barcode of Life Conference in Taipei was as addled with confusion and obfuscation as I had heard it might be. In supreme contrast to animal barcoding working groups (like linkurl:FishBOL),;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53591/ that are humming along identifying species and thinking about how to attract funding agencies and end users, the plant working group seems to be straining under the linkurl:complexity;htt

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Biosafety concerns at U of Wisconsin Ebola lab

By | September 20, 2007

A University of Wisconsin researcher working with the Ebola virus operated his lab under lower biosafety standards than are required for working with the deadly pathogen, according to the Sunshine Project, an Austin-based biosafety watchdog group. A linkurl:press release;http://www.sunshine-project.org/publications/pr/pr190907.html posted on the group's Web site and an linkurl:AP report;http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/local//index.php?ntid=246861 filed late last night state that the lab, headed

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NIH stem cell news - or is it?

By | September 20, 2007

An interesting news release from the NIH landed in my inbox Tuesday (September 18). The headline said the agency "Announces Plan to Implement President's linkurl:Stem Cell;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/36654/ Executive Order." I know, I know -- the linkurl:executive order;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53059/ came six years ago. But apparently, now the agency is taking new steps -- for instance, asking for grant applications to study non-embryonic sources of

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DNA barcoding in Taipei, Part 3

By | September 19, 2007

Played a rousing game of linkurl:table tennis;http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxZ-5wELSJM tonight. And by "rousing game" I mean to say that I was soundly drubbed by a Taiwanese gentleman (his name escapes me) who appears to be some sort of national champion. Even my scorching serves were parried with effortless flicks of his supple wrist. Though my game may have been tough, it was nothing compared to the game that linkurl:plant molecular biologists;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/22

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Texas universities bombing biosafety?

By | September 19, 2007

Recent biosafety breaches have occurred at three University of Texas schools, the Chronicle of Higher Education linkurl:reports;http://chronicle.com/news/article/3051/bio-mishaps-hit-2-more-university-labs-in-texas) . At UT Austin, officials failed to report 10 out of 13 incidents that took place over the last seven years. Incidents at the other two schools both took place in April: Workers at the UT Health Sciences Center in Houston were exposed to anthrax, and at UT San Antonio to tularemia. (

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