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The Nutshell

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GINA becomes law

By | May 22, 2008

President Bush signed into law the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) yesterday (May 21). GINA, which passed the House and Senate linkurl:last month,;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54567/ prevents insurers and employers from using genetic test results to discriminate against employees.

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Mainland animal lab poses risks: GAO

By | May 22, 2008

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has not demonstrated that moving foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) research from an island lab in New York to a linkurl:new mainland animal research facility;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/23091/ would be safe, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) told a Congressional committee this morning (May 22). "We found that linkurl:DHS;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54186/ has not conducted or commissioned any study" to assess whether

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Virginia U in secretive tobacco deal

By | May 22, 2008

Another US university has been found in bed with big tobacco, this time on the down-low. linkurl:The New York Times reported today;http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/22/us/22tobacco.html?pagewanted=1 that Virginia Commonwealth University entered into a contract with Philip Morris in 2006 that severely restricts researchers' ability to disseminate findings from studies funded by the tobacco company. Tobacco funding in academic research is a contentious issue, with the debate primarily centered arou

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Thousands vie for Gates grants

By | May 21, 2008

Biologists have been submitting research proposals in droves hoping to receive money from a new linkurl:Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation;http://www.gatesfoundation.org/default.htm grant program aimed at improving linkurl:global health.;http://www.the-scientist.com/2008/3/1/42/1/ As Yiwu He, Gates foundation senior program officer in global health, told me at a biomarker linkurl:meeting;http://www.biomarkerworldcongress.com/ in Philadelphia on Monday (May 19), the Gates Foundation has gotten abo

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Explorers find Brittlestar City

By | May 20, 2008

A team of researchers has discovered millions of slender, sea star-like creatures - called linkurl:brittlestars;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/19856/ - thriving on a submerged oceanic ridge in the icy waters between New Zealand and Antarctica. The researchers, Australians and New Zealanders participating in the linkurl:Macquarie Ridge Expedition,;http://censeam.niwa.co.nz/outreach/censeam_cruises/macridge linkurl:announced;http://www.coml.org/medres/medres77.htm their discovery on

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HIV vaccines: Plan B

By | May 20, 2008

linkurl:Anthony Fauci,;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/13734/ director of NIH's National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), is apparently making good on the promise to "turn the knob towards discovery" in HIV vaccine research, which he made at a linkurl:meeting;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54488/ this March. The NIAID today (May 20) linkurl:announced;http://www.nih.gov/news/health/may2008/niaid-20.htm a five-year, $15.6 million project to fund rese

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Mitotic cells: separate but unequal

By | May 19, 2008

Mitotic cell divisions, long thought to produce two identical daughter cells, are not entirely equal, according to a new linkurl:study;http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.0803027105 published this week in __Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences__. Proteins destined for degradation are preferentially inherited by one cell over the other, the researchers found. "We hit on an observation that people had missed for 100 years," said linkurl:Eddy De Robertis;http://www.hhmi.ucla.edu/de

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Monkey model for Huntington disease

By | May 19, 2008

Scientists have created the first transgenic monkey model of Huntington disease (HD), according to a linkurl:report;http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/nature06975.html that appeared yesterday in Nature. But it's unclear how closely the model represents the disease in humans. The study, led by Anthony Chan, at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, successfully bred five rhesus macaques with the repeated amino acid sequence CAG in the human huntingtin gene -- the tellt

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Still hope for NIH funding boost?

By | May 16, 2008

There still may be hope for a boost to National Institutes of Health funding in 2008. Yesterday the US Senate snuck some $400 million into a bill approved by the House earlier this week for funding the Iraq war. At the end of last year, President Bush linkurl:vetoed a 2008 appropriations bill;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53858/ that would have raised NIH funding by about $1 billion. In order to get the bill approved, Congress slashed $760 million of proposed NIH funding, resultin

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First embryonic stem cell trial stalled

By | May 15, 2008

The FDA has delayed approval of an application for the first human embryonic stem cell clinical trial by Geron Corporation, the company linkurl:announced;http://www.geron.com/media/pressview.aspx?id=840 yesterday. Geron's compound, GRNOPC1, is a cell-based therapy to treat spinal cord injury. Yesterday, the FDA told Geron verbally that they were placing the Investigational New Drug submission of the treatment under a clinical hold. The company is awaiting a formal letter. Thomas Okarma, Ge

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