News in a nutshell

- The number of orphan drug designations granted by the US Food and Drug Administration has risen sharply over the past 10 years, according to a new linkurl:study;http://csdd.beehivemedia.com/news/complete_story/pr_ir_nov_09 from the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development. There were 208 products designated as treatments for neglected diseases in 2000-2002; that number grew to 425 drugs or vaccines by 2006-2008. - A leading stem cell research advocate this weekend linkurl:called on;http

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob Grant is Editor in Chief of The Scientist, where he started in 2007 as a Staff Writer.

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Jan 24, 2010
- The number of orphan drug designations granted by the US Food and Drug Administration has risen sharply over the past 10 years, according to a new linkurl:study;http://csdd.beehivemedia.com/news/complete_story/pr_ir_nov_09 from the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development. There were 208 products designated as treatments for neglected diseases in 2000-2002; that number grew to 425 drugs or vaccines by 2006-2008. - A leading stem cell research advocate this weekend linkurl:called on;http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/sciencemedicine/story/A587C43DAEA6020D862576B5000D0455?OpenDocument legislators to sign into law President Obama's executive order lifting the federal funding ban for new embryonic stem cell lines. Speaking at a stem cell summit in St. Louis, linkurl:Bernard Siegel,;http://www.genpol.org/about_meet.html executive director of the Florida-based Genetics Policy Institute, urged lawmakers and researchers to codify the rule to avoid another political setback in the field. - A new linkurl:rule;http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/25/nyregion/25dna.html will allow criminal investigators in New York to pursue suspects based on partial matches of crime scene DNA to genetic...
inkurl:study;http://csdd.beehivemedia.com/news/complete_story/pr_ir_nov_09 from the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development. There were 208 products designated as treatments for neglected diseases in 2000-2002; that number grew to 425 drugs or vaccines by 2006-2008. - A leading stem cell research advocate this weekend linkurl:called on;http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/sciencemedicine/story/A587C43DAEA6020D862576B5000D0455?OpenDocument legislators to sign into law President Obama's executive order lifting the federal funding ban for new embryonic stem cell lines. Speaking at a stem cell summit in St. Louis, linkurl:Bernard Siegel,;http://www.genpol.org/about_meet.html executive director of the Florida-based Genetics Policy Institute, urged lawmakers and researchers to codify the rule to avoid another political setback in the field. - A new linkurl:rule;http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/25/nyregion/25dna.html will allow criminal investigators in New York to pursue suspects based on partial matches of crime scene DNA to genetic profiles kept by the state. The rule, approved by the state's Commission on Forensic Science in December, will take effect this spring. It means that family members with DNA profiles in the state's database may be pursued during investigations in which their relative's DNA is connected to a crime. Some privacy advocates are claiming that the practice could lead to a guilt-by-association approach to criminal justice. - Meanwhile down under, Nobel-prize winning cancer researcher Elizabeth Blackburn (Australia's first female Laureate) has been linkurl:named;http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/01/26/2801093.htm?section=justin a Companion of the Order of Australia, the country's highest honor. Blackburn linkurl:shared;http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2009/ last year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her work on how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and for discovering the enzyme telomerase. - Finally, the president of the European Research Council (ERC) -- the European Union's NIH equivalent -- has linkurl:announced;http://erc.europa.eu/pdf/ANNOUNCEMENT_Prof_Kafatos.pdf that he will step down from his post on March 1st. linkurl:Fotis Kafatos,;http://openwetware.org/wiki/Kafatos:Fotis_C._Kafatos a molecular biologist who helped develop cDNA cloning technology, has decided to cede the presidency of the ERC, which he cofounded almost three years ago, to focus on his malaria research at Imperial College, London. He will remain on the ERC's Scientific Council, and his replacement will be chosen from among existing council members. Stay tuned for our feature article on the future direction of the young research agency in next month's issue.
**__Related stories:__***linkurl:Obama to lift stem cell ban;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55494/
[6th March 2009]*linkurl:The Orphan Drug Act Turns 25;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/55041/
[October 2008]*linkurl:First Person|Fotis Kafatos;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/14312/
[15th December 2003]

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