The Nutshell

Daily News Roundup

Most Recent

News in a nutshell

By | May 10, 2010

Negativity, paperwork at NSFNational Science Foundation Director Arden Bement is not optimistic that the funding agency will receive the president's request for a $552 million (8 percent) budget increase in 2011. "I won't be surprised to see us operating under a continuing resolution" until well after the November congressional elections, linkurl:Bement told ScienceInsider.; "In fact, anything else would be a


YouTube yields data

By | May 7, 2010

At first, the YouTube videos seemed hilarious -- young people smoking Salvia divinorum, laughing uncontrollably, falling over furniture. But the more Jason Daniel, a fourth-year PhD candidate in public health at San Diego State University, watched, the more it was simply disconcerting -- people lying on the ground, losing control of their limbs, convulsing. "They didn't look like they were having a terribly good time," says Daniel. After weeks of watching YouTube videos three to four hours per


Epigenetic change ups dementia?

By | May 6, 2010

A specific epigenetic switch appears to cause age-related memory loss in mice, suggesting this dysregulation could eventually serve as a biomarker for dementia, according to this week's Science. linkurl:Andre Fischer; at the linkurl:European Neuroscience Institute in Goettingen, Germany; and his team found that older and younger mice exhibited marked differences in one type of epigenetic change to a specific region of one histone,


Math explains HIV immunity

By | May 5, 2010

A mathematical model has revealed part of the secret to why some people linkurl:infected with HIV never get sick,; providing a new target in the attempt to harness that ability in a vaccine, according to research published in __Nature.__ HIV particles (green) budding from a lymphocyte.Image: C. Goldsmith, CDC People who can control their HIV infections carry a specific subtype of the gene for the major histocompatability co

1 Comment

Q&A: Why cutting science is good

By | May 5, 2010

As stimulus funds run out and other federal programs take priority over science research and development, academic research programs will soon feel the squeeze, says linkurl:Diane Auer Jones,; CEO of the Washington Campus, a non-profit business leadership and education organization, and former assistant secretary for postsecondary education at the US Department of Education. But the culling of academic


Science ally in DC retires

By | May 5, 2010

Congressman David Obey (D-WI), who consistently championed increased funding at federal research institutions, and was instrumental in passing last year's stimulus bill (with its $10 billion for the National Institutes of Health), announced Wednesday (May 5) that he will not be seeking reelection in this fall's Congressional elections. Image: US House of Representativeslinkurl:Obey;, who served in Congress for more than 40 years, fought for increased federal funding fo


Stem cell lines on hold

By | May 4, 2010

Three human embryonic stem cell lines once eligible for federal funding are "on hold" until further notice because they were derived from embryos that were too early. Human embryonic stem cellsImage: Wikimedia commons, Nissim Benvenisty"These lines were derived from early embryos -- those consisting of 6, 8, or 16 cells -- and thus formally did not fit the official definition of ES cells by the NIH," linkurl:George Daley,; who derived these particular lines and subm

1 Comment

News in a nutshell

By | May 3, 2010

RIP, sickle-cell scientistHelen M. Ranney, the first woman to head a department of medicine at a U.S. medical school, died last month at age 89. Ranney was a pioneer in the field of genetics, studying the inheritance of sickle cell disease in the early 1950s, when scientists knew little about DNA. To identify carriers of the sickle cell gene, she adapted gel electrophoresis to quickly and easily separate cells with normal hemoglobin from distorted, sickle-shaped cells, since adult carriers conta


Texas layoffs shady: report

By | May 3, 2010

The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston and the University of Texas System (UTS) violated established and widely accepted guidelines on academic freedom and tenure when it laid off more than 2,400 faculty and staff in the wake of 2008's Hurricane Ike, according to a linkurl:report; released today by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). Image: Wikimedia CommonsMore than 1


Party imperils college's funding

By | April 30, 2010

As students at Portland, Oregon's Reed College ready for their annual end of the year bash, some faculty members worry that the liberal arts school may risk losing federal funding if drug problems among students at the institution persist. Image: Wikimedia Commonsoriginally uploaded by ThoricThe concern stems from a meeting held last week where federal officials apparently warned Reed President linkurl:Colin Diver; and Vice President/Dean of Student Services linkur


Popular Now

  1. Monsanto Buys Rights to CRISPR
    The Nutshell Monsanto Buys Rights to CRISPR

    The US agribusiness secures a global, nonexclusive licensing agreement from the Broad Institute to use the gene-editing technology for agricultural applications.

  2. How Plants Evolved Different Ways to Make Caffeine
  3. Thomson Reuters Predicts Nobelists
    The Nutshell Thomson Reuters Predicts Nobelists

    According to citation statistics, researchers behind programmed cell death pathways and CRISPR/Cas9 are among those in line for Nobel Prizes this year.

  4. ESP on Trial
    Foundations ESP on Trial

    In the 1930s, parapsychologist Joseph Banks Rhine aimed to use scientific methods to confirm the existence of extrasensory perception, but faced criticisms of dubious analyses and irreproducible results.