Thirty-eight researchers were awarded with grants totaling $42.2 million dollars this week for their "linkurl:wild and crazy;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53456/ " ideas to change the way science is done. The EUREKA program (Exceptional, Unconventional Research Enabling Knowledge Acceleration), sought proposals from investigators that were linkurl:innovative,;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/54322/ but required little or no preliminary data. "There were so many good [projects]," said Jeremy Berg, director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), the largest funder of the four NIH institutes participating. "We ended up funding more than we thought." The institute had set aside $5 million, but awarded nearly $6 million in grants. A few of the winning projects: Beverly Davidson from University of Iowa will engineer RNA aptamers to act as specific drug delivery agents to carry chemical payloads into the brain, a notoriously difficult drug target. Akira Chiba, at the University of Miami, will investigate ways to stimulate neural regeneration by shaking...
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