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Dean axed for ethics slip

By | March 2, 2010

Administrators at Sweden's premier medical university, the Karolinska Institute, announced today (March 2nd) that they've fired the institution's dean of research for exerting "undue influence" over the allocation of funds to top Karolinska professors.Image: Camilla Svensk Clinical pathologist linkurl:Karl Tryggvason; reportedly tried to influence the decisions of an independent panel regarding which researchers at the Karolinska Institute should rec


News in a nutshell

By | March 1, 2010

UMass leader steps downJack Wilson is expected to announce today that linkurl:he will retire as president of the University of Massachusetts; in 2011. Over his nearly 8 year tenure, Wilson helped unify the five-campus system, and encouraged research collaboration between faculty at different schools. According to the Boston Globe, Wilson, a physicist by training, plans to begin "speak

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New sugar protein tool - for real

By | February 28, 2010

Scientists have devised a new way to make sugar-linked proteins, an important step towards understanding a key type of protein modification and refining drug therapies that utilize the so-called glycoproteins -- as well as the subject of two high-profile papers that were recently retracted. Image: Wikimedia commons, S. Jähnichen"It's a pretty important thing that they've done," said synthetic biologist linkurl:Jason Chin; of the Med


Physician-scientists: vanishing?

By | February 26, 2010

Biomedical research needs practicing physicians -- understanding the issues that arise in the clinic is arguably one of the best ways to inform the work done in the lab. But recently, there is evidence to suggest the numbers of physician-scientists -- MDs who dedicate a significant amount of their time to medical research -- may be dwindling, argues researcher and hematologist linkurl:Andrew Schafer; of Weill Cornell Medical College and


Radical journal gathers support

By | February 26, 2010

The scientific community appears to be fighting to convince Elsevier to continue to publish its only non-peer-reviewed journal, after the publisher began to linkurl:consider installing a traditional peer review system; when the journal published a controversial paper supporting the arguments of AIDS deniers. Image: flicker/linkurl:meviola; Despite the uproar that article created, the editor-in-chief of lin


New neurons rewire mouse brain

By | February 25, 2010

Embryonic neurons transplanted into mice can induce a period of flexibility in a relatively rigid older brain, suggesting a possible mechanism to repair damaged brain circuits, according a study published this week in Science. Inhibitory neurons transplantedfrom the embryonic braininto the postnatal brain Image: Derek Southwell"It's terrific," said neuroscientist linkurl:Takao Hensch; of Harvard University, who was not involved

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Bacteria drive electric mud?

By | February 24, 2010

Underwater mud can conduct electricity, possibly with the help of bacteria in the sediment -- a result that helps explain the large amount of electrical activity researchers have detected in ocean sediments, a linkurl:study published; in this week's in __Nature__ reports. The finding could change how researchers think about microbes' contributions to geochemical processes. Grey, orange and white layers of mud from the Bay

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Regulatory science gets boost

By | February 24, 2010

The linkurl:National Institutes of Health; (NIH) and the linkurl:US Food and Drug Administration; (FDA) linkurl:announced a new collaboration; this morning (Feb 24) that will support efforts in translational and regulatory science, including a contribution of $6.75 million in regulatory research grants over the next three years. Image: Wikimedia commonsSince Margaret Hamburg took the rei


NIH reviewers praise new rules

By | February 23, 2010

While the transition to the new shortened grant applications at the linkurl:National Institutes of Health; (NIH) and the corresponding review guidelines hasn't been completely smooth, reviewers who have participated in the first few rounds of funding under the new system generally support the changes. Image: Wikimedia commons"I think it's an improvement over the old system," said linkurl:Karin Rodland,; a researche


British bacteriologist dies

By | February 22, 2010

Patricia Clarke, a distinguished British biochemist who deepened the field's understanding of bacterial evolution and was a role model for women in science, died last month at 90 years of age. Pseudomonas aeruginosaImage: Wikimedia Commons, CDC/Janice Haney Carr "She had always been determined to get into academia," said Barbara Banks, a physiological chemist and a former colleague at the University College London. "She was a student at Cambridge - before the days when they gave degrees to wome


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