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Pluripotency process unveiled

By | December 21, 2009

Scientists have identified a key component of cellular reprogramming that may aid in more efficiently creating induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, according to a study published online in Nature today (December 21). Mouse embryonic stem cellsImage: Wikimedia commons"This [research] is pretty astonishing," molecular biologist Xiangru Xu of linkurl:Yale University;http://www.yale.edu/ wrote in an email to The Scientist. "This study provides a specific epigenetic mechanism [for] the pluripotent

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Crystallographer faked data

By | December 18, 2009

A protein researcher at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) has been found guilty of falsifying data that he used to construct 12 fraudulent protein structures that made it into the scientific literature and an international archive of protein structures.A G-protein image based oncrystal structure dataImage: S. Jahnichen After investigating the misconduct -- with the help of a committee of independent protein scientists -- the university has linkurl:asked;http://main.uab.edu/Sites/rep

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The top 5 people of 2009

By | December 18, 2009

From budgets padded with stimulus funding to advancements in stem cell legislation, 2009 has been an all around big year for research. But in The Scientist's mind, a few individuals have stuck out in terms of their contributions, support, and leadership in the life sciences. Here are our picks for the top five most influential people of the year, presented in alphabetical order: Francis Collins Unless you have been living under a rock this year, you know that linkurl:Collins;http://www.nih.

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Hopes fade for HIV microbicide

By | December 17, 2009

Despite linkurl:promising early trial results,;http://www.ipmglobal.org/news_room/english/press_releases/2009/20090209_pro2000_buffergel_study.htm another microbicide for the prevention of HIV transmission was deemed ineffective, scientists at the UK Medical Research Council's Microbicides Development Programme (MDP) linkurl:announced;http://www.mdp.mrc.ac.uk/archive.html Monday (December 14). The failure of the PRO 2000 gel is part of a decade-long history of unsuccessful attempts to develop va

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The five hottest biology papers of 2009

By | December 17, 2009

Which papers made the biggest splash this year? linkurl:ScienceWatch,;http://www.sciencewatch.com/ a website that tracks and analyzes trends in basic science research, compiles bimonthly lists of the 10 most cited papers. From those lists, The Scientist pulled the five papers in biology published in the last two years which were some of the most cited papers in 2009. The two topics that dominate the top five papers this year: genomics and stem cells.(*All citation data, both ours and that of

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A windfall year at NIH

By | December 16, 2009

This has been a boom year at the National Institutes of Health. With a $10 billion infusion thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the agency found itself in the unfamiliar position of being flush with cash. As Congress decides how it will fund the NIH and the nation's other federal science agencies in 2010 and 2011, we take a look back at scientists and fields of research that scored big this year. The following are 2009's ten most funded Research, Condition, and Disease

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Cancer genomes sequenced

By | December 16, 2009

Scientists have charted the most complete cancer genomes to date, according to two studies published in Nature this week, providing a catalog of some 90% of all the somatic mutations in melanoma and a type of lung cancer, as well as a starting point for identifying potentially causal mutations common to these types of cancer. Cross section of a human lung with cancerImage: Wikimedia commons"For the first time we have a really quite comprehensive view of two different common tumor types," said l

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27 more hESC lines approved

By | December 15, 2009

National Institutes of Health (NIH) director Francis Collins linkurl:approved 27 more human embryonic stem cell lines;http://grants.nih.gov/stem_cells/registry/current.htm as eligible for federal funding on Monday, bringing the total number of new lines to 40 -- almost double the number of previously okayed lines under the administration of former President George W. Bush. Human embryonic stem cellsImage: Wikimedia commons, Nissim Benvenisty"I am hopeful that this will be an important boost to

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2009 in review

By | December 14, 2009

Perhaps more so than most years to date, 2009 has repeatedly raised the specter of misdeeds in research -- both in academia and industry. New year's celebrations in Taipei Image: Wikimedia CommonsWith more and more academic research linkurl:funded by industry;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55506/ and few universities having consistent policies on how their researchers must report their financial ties, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) this year linkurl:continued his probe;http://www.t

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2010 budget on Obama's desk

By | December 14, 2009

Yesterday (13th December), the US Senate linkurl:OKed;http://appropriations.senate.gov/news.cfm?method=news.view&id=6ec79f1e-cf92-489d-8af2-ab90deac394b a proposal to up the National Institutes of Health's 2010 budget by $692 million, or 2.3 percent.Image: Kevin McCoy via WikimediaCommons The joint-committee appropriations conference report passed by a vote of 57-35. The report cleared the House on Thursday, and now the $446.8 billion 2010 linkurl:omnibus appropriations bill,;http://thomas.loc.

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