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A disease cell line library

By | August 7, 2008

Researchers have created 20 disease-specific pluripotent cell lines by reprogramming skin and bone marrow cells from patients with genetic disorders, they report in a paper to be published tomorrow in Cell. "These cells will be an incredible resource for those interested in studying the root causes of these diseases," wrote linkurl:Kevin Eggan,; Harvard researcher who was not involved in the study, in an Email to The Scientist. The researchers, led by


Does fraud mean career death?

By | August 7, 2008

If you're found guilty of plagiarism or linkurl:scientific fraud,; is your academic career as a researcher over? Not according to a study published in Science tomorrow (August 8), which contradicts a long-standing assumption by suggesting that rebuilding a career after a misconduct finding is difficult, but not impossible. "While the punishments [for misconduct] are severe, there are hopes for redemption," said linkurl:Jon Merz;http://www.bioe


Silencing HIV

By | August 7, 2008

With the help of a new mouse model for HIV infection, scientists have shown that gene silencing with RNA interference (RNAi) may be effective in preventing viral entry and replication in T-cells, according to a study published online today (August 7th) in linkurl:Cell.; Past studies have used RNAi to suppress HIV infection in cultured cells, but researchers did not have a good animal model simulating chronic HIV-infection in which to test the approach. Another challenge has


A virus's virus

By | August 6, 2008

Researchers have discovered the first virus to infect another virus, according to a study appearing tomorrow in Nature. The new virus was found living inside a new strain of the viral giant, mimivirus. "This is one parasite living on another parasite, which is really fascinating," linkurl:Michael Rossman,; microbiologist at Purdue University, who was not involved in the study, told The Scientist. linkurl:Didier Raoult;http://www.a


FDA rolls out new conflict rules

By | August 5, 2008

The Food and Drug Administration linkurl:unveiled; new, tougher linkurl:conflict of interest; rules yesterday (Aug 4). Key among the regulations was one that linkurl:prohibits; physicians or researchers who have more than $50,000 worth of financial interests in pharmaceutical or medical device companies from


Genome patents need purpose

By | August 5, 2008

The British High Court's rejection linkurl:last week; of a biotech company's patent on the genetic sequence coding for a therapeutically important protein may be a warning for other biotechs who hold patents on portions of the human genome. The court ruled last week that a patent held by Human Genome Sciences since the mid 1990s was invalid because at the time the company applied for the patent they hadn't demonstrated a practical use. The patent


Grad student falsified data

By | August 5, 2008

A graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University studying the psychology of decision-making falsified data in four studies funded by National Institutes of Health and National Institute of Mental Health grants, according to a notice published by the linkurl:Office of Research Integrity; (ORI), the misconduct watchdog of the Public Health Service, on July 23. Roxana Gonzalez, at the time an advanced doctoral student in the linkurl:Department of Social and Decision Sciences an


Calif. animal scientists attacked

By | August 4, 2008

A house and car belonging to two University of California, Santa Cruz researchers were firebombed in the wee hours of Saturday (Aug 2) morning. The attacks occurred after linkurl:anti-animal research; pamphlets listing the names and personal information of several UCSC researchers were linkurl:discovered; in a Santa Cruz coffee shop last week. linkurl:David Feldheim,;

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Anthrax suspect commits suicide

By | August 1, 2008

A biodefense researcher committed suicide this week, just as the US government was about to indict him for the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people and caused a national panic. The microbiologist, Bruce E. Ivins, whose death was first reported today (August 1) in the linkurl:Los Angeles Times,;,0,2864223.story?page=1, was a top scientist at a US Army biodefense research facility in Fort Detrick, Md., where he worked


Genome patent overturned

By | August 1, 2008

Yesterday the British High Court overturned a UK genome patent owned by biotech Human Genome Sciences. The patent covered the inflammation-linked protein neutrokine-alpha which is part of the tumor necrosis factor family of cytokines. The court overturned the patent, ruling that at the time its application was filed there was no practical application, the Financial Times linkurl:reported.; Human Genome Science


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