The Nutshell

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UK identifies foot and mouth source

By Alla Katsnelson | September 10, 2007

The UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on Friday released the findings of its investigation on the source of linkurl:last month's; foot and mouth disease outbreak that had been traced to three neighboring labs in Pirbright, Surrey, which worked with the virus. As we linkurl:reported; at the time, original speculations faulted the site's drainage system, which, overwhelmed by heavy rains, could ha


UNH makes offer to banned professor

By Andrea Gawrylewski | September 10, 2007

The University of New Hampshire sent a letter Friday (September 7) to the banned chair of the biochemistry and molecular biology department, saying that he can be reinstated but no longer as the chair of the department, a faculty member in the department just informed The Scientist. As I linkurl:reported; in July, John Collins, who has been chair of the department for two years, was banned from campus on June 29, a day after kicking a trash can, y


Officials release pygmy rabbit recovery plan

By Ivan Oransky | September 8, 2007

The US Fish and Wildlife Service has released a draft recovery plan for the endangered Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit, a subject I linkurl:wrote about; in our June issue. The tiny rabbits -- on average, adults weigh just 400 grams and are only 25 centimeters long -- have been on the Federal endangered species list since 2001. That year, officials were only able to scoop up 30 of them when they searched throughout their native habitat of the Great B


Endangered wolves don't need passports

By Ivan Oransky | September 7, 2007

As Federal agencies and farmers call for removing the linkurl:gray wolf; from the US endangered species list, a member of a species appears to have killed a calf in rural linkurl:Stevens County, Washington.;; According to a US Fish and Wildlife Service press release, the kill ''appears to be the first confirmed wolf depredation on livestock in Washington State.'' The kill, which happened sometime


More money for Calif. stem cell research

By Bob Grant | September 7, 2007

A bit of good news for California's stem cell researchers who have watched as the linkurl:California Institute for Regenerative Medicine; has weathered some linkurl:changes; lately: California officials announced this week that $250 million in taxable general obligation bonds will be sold on September 27 with the proceeds going to CIRM, the regulatory body that oversees the state's stem cell resear


Time for patent reform?

By Alla Katsnelson | September 7, 2007

The House of Representatives this afternoon approved a linkurl:bill; outlining major changes to the patent process. Attempts at legislation reforming the system have been linkurl:brewing; for about five years, but biotech and pharma have vociferously protested some of the proposed changes. Chief among them is its proposal to reduce damages that can be demanded in infringement suit


Culprit of bee woes identified?

By Bob Grant | September 6, 2007

Researchers have identified a virus that may be at least partially to blame for the dramatic disappearances of some honeybees in the United States recently. In a linkurl:study; published online today in Science, scientists report that they've found Israeli acute paralysis virus (IAPV) in many of the US bee colonies that have been suffering from linkurl:colony collapse disorder;


Just another biosafety breach

By Alla Katsnelson | September 5, 2007

An outbreak investigation of a Maine poultry vaccine facility concluded last week that a spill infected about a third of the facility's 74 employees with salmonella poisoning, according to a linkurl:notice;,F2400_P1001_PUB_MAIL_ID:1000,39119 on ProMED-mail, an information service of the International Society for Infectious Diseases. The notice, also linkurl:published;


Microsoft sponsors BMC prizes

By Andrea Gawrylewski | September 5, 2007

BioMed Central (a sister company of The Scientist) announced today that Microsoft will be sponsoring BMC's annual research awards -- funding two $5000 prizes for research of major significance published in any of BMC's linkurl:open access; journals in 2007. Lee Dirks, the director of scholarly communication for Microsoft Research (a research branch of Microsoft that also collaborates with colleges and universities) said in the press release: "We a


New visa rules for postdocs?

By Alison McCook | September 5, 2007

The linkurl:National Postdoctoral Association; is only four years old, but is already weighing in on serious issues in science. Last week, I received a linkurl:white paper; from the NPA suggesting the US make changes to linkurl:visa requirements; for foreign-born postdocs. The gr


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