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Epigenetics in Australia -- and New York

By | February 13, 2006

After 27 years, Australia's Lorne Conference on the Organization and Expression of the Genome witnessed a first on Sunday: a session dedicated to the joys of linkurl:epigenetics;https://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/23011/ . The session kicked off with Carmen Sapienza from the Fels Institute for Cancer Research and Molecule Biology, Temple University School of Medicine, who showed using a combination of database analysis and lab work that imprinted chromosomal regions are historical hot-sp

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James Hansen speaks?and maybe says too much

By | February 13, 2006

Little did I know what a treat I was getting at last week?s linkurl:conference;http://www.socres.org/polsci/agenda.htm at the New School in New York called "Politics & Science: How their interplay results in public policy." On the second day, attendees heard a meticulous synopsis of the scientific data to support the trend of global warming, presented by James Hansen, the now-beleaguered NASA climate scientist who has accused the U.S. government of suppressing his findings. Hansen ? w

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Luging Scientist Slides to Success

By | February 13, 2006

Werner Hoeger, the kinesiologist turned luger we linkurl:profiled;https://www.the-scientist.com/2006/2/1/17/2/ in our February issue, came incredibly close to his goal of four clean runs in Torino this weekend. On Sunday, the Boise State professor completed the final two runs of the two-day event, finishing in 32^nd^ place out of 36. Not bad at all for a 52-year-old, the eldest male luger and one of the eldest competitors at the Winter Games. Hoeger took up the sport only eight years ago and bal

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p53 and the sea

By | February 11, 2006

The 18th Lorne Cancer Conference Erskine on the Beach in Lorne, Australia, closed today, but not before p53 competed with the scenery for scientists' attention. Just as the linkurl:Keystone Symposia;https://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/23090/ are set up to allow for skiing in the afternoon, Lorne is set up to nice long break in the middle of the day during which delegates play tennis on grass courts, swim at the sweeping beach across the road or just laze on the grass in the sun. Tony Brai

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The Tasmanian devil's cancer

By | February 11, 2006

A week or so ago, Ann Maree Pearce, a government cytogeneticist from Australia's island state, Tasmania, and colleagues said in a Nature news report that a nasty facial cancer affecting the Tasmanian devil population, dubbed Devil Facial Tumour Disease, was in fact an infective cell line being passed between the ferocious, foxed-sized scavengers via bites and so on. At the linkurl:18th Lorne Cancer Conference Erskine on the Beach;https://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/23110/ in Lorne, Austra

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A new you, easier than you thought

By | February 10, 2006

While doing a little background research for a notebook item running in the March issue, I had the opportunity to type the words ?Brain Transplantation? into Google?s search window. The very first hit you get is for, aptly enough, linkurl:BrainTrans Inc.;http://216.247.9.207/ny-best.htm which promises to restore health, youth, and vitality the surgical way ? by plopping your cerebrum into the body of a younger, fitter model. Now I tend to be skeptical about such things, but who wouldn?t be pli

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A framework for development

By | February 8, 2006

This one day conference focused on the interface between academic research and the commercialization of the fruits of stem cell research. The San Francisco-based linkurl:Women?s Technology Cluster;http://www.wtc-sf.org/ , whose mission is ?to increase the number of successful women-led companies in the life science, high technology, and clean technology sectors and to leverage their influence,? was the organizing sponsor. They apparently sponsor over thirty events a year to promote that mission.

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Of salamanders and men

By | February 8, 2006

My past came back to haunt me today. I was an eager attendee of the 2006 International Symposium: Stem Cell Symposium, which was organized by the Women?s Technology Cluster, a business incubator in San Francisco. I had no idea that salamanders would enter the discussions of differentiation and deals. But, as fate would have it, the amphibious creatures served as prime evidence of the possibilities and potential of regenerative medicine. These are the same animals that my friend in fourth grade,

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Reviewing peer review

By | February 8, 2006

Peer review is on every life scientist?s mind lately, it seems. One of the main complaints I heard while researching the linkurl:February cover story;https://www.the-scientist.com/2006/2/1/26/1/ is that the process is inherently difficult to investigate scientifically. Each journal has a somewhat unique system for reviewing papers, and each paper will have a unique journey through a journal?s reviewing machinery. But I?ve learned that even though peer review has obvious imperfections, it?s the b

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Risky enough business?

By | February 8, 2006

I?m an obvious beneficiary of medical technology. Without the computer surgically embedded in my skull, I?d be totally deaf. The device, called a ?cochlear implant,? routes past my damaged inner ear by triggering my auditory nerves with sixteen tiny electrodes coiled up inside my cochlea. It?s not a cure, though, any more than glasses cure vision loss. It?s a prosthesis, a workaround. Compared to the extraordinary delicacy and precision of naturally evolved organs, it?s clumsy. It?s like

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