While you were away...

As a new year stretches before us and the holidays are nothing but a nog-scented memory, here are a few of the life science stories you may have missed while you were enjoying your winter vacation. 1) James Goddard died On December 18, we linkurl:lost;http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/02/health/02goddard.html the James Goddard, former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration who toughened up the agency and forced pharmaceutical companies to supply more rigorous scientific evidence for

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 3, 2010
As a new year stretches before us and the holidays are nothing but a nog-scented memory, here are a few of the life science stories you may have missed while you were enjoying your winter vacation. 1) James Goddard died On December 18, we linkurl:lost;http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/02/health/02goddard.html the James Goddard, former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration who toughened up the agency and forced pharmaceutical companies to supply more rigorous scientific evidence for new drug applications. Goddard was FDA commish from 1966 to 1968, and stepped in as the first MD to lead the agency since 1914. Some things you may not have known about Goddard: he was a licensed hot air balloonist and was stepfather to blues musician Bonnie Raitt. 2) Spine journal editor caught with hand in cookie jar A scathing linkurl:piece;http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/watchdogreports/80036277.html in the __Milwaukee Journal Sentinel__ fingered Thomas Zdeblick, an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Wisconsin...
d while you were enjoying your winter vacation. 1) James Goddard died On December 18, we linkurl:lost;http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/02/health/02goddard.html the James Goddard, former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration who toughened up the agency and forced pharmaceutical companies to supply more rigorous scientific evidence for new drug applications. Goddard was FDA commish from 1966 to 1968, and stepped in as the first MD to lead the agency since 1914. Some things you may not have known about Goddard: he was a licensed hot air balloonist and was stepfather to blues musician Bonnie Raitt. 2) Spine journal editor caught with hand in cookie jar A scathing linkurl:piece;http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/watchdogreports/80036277.html in the __Milwaukee Journal Sentinel__ fingered Thomas Zdeblick, an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Wisconsin who also serves as editor in chief of the __Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques__, for receiving millions of dollars in royalties from device maker Medtronic without divulging the conflict. In the seven years since Zdeblick took the helm of the journal, he's published and coauthored many papers singing the praises of Medtronic's products without disclosing the fact that he's on the company's payroll, according to the __Journal Sentinel__. 3) The cavityome Researchers sequenced the genome of a bacterium that causes cavities in teeth. Reporting their linkurl:findings;http://www.plosgenetics.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pgen.1000785 in the December issue of __PloS Genetics__, scientists from Europe, China, and Canada claimed that __Bifidobacterium dentium__'s DNA contained clues to how the organism evolved into a cavity forming machine. 4) The FDA rejects new antibiotic Over the holidays, the FDA linkurl:did not approve;http://www.nasdaq.com/aspx/stock-market-news-story.aspx?storyid=200912301139dowjonesdjonline000391&title=2nd-update-basilea-jj-row-evolves-with-fda-response-letter a new antibiotic, ceftobiprole, being developed by Swiss biotech Basilea and pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson. The reason? The FDA says that the companies were cutting corners in evaluating the broad-spectrum antibiotic's effectiveness. The rejection increases tensions between Basilea and J&J over the drug, which was supposed to hit the market sometime soon, but apparently won't make it for several years. 5) A new cockroach species found in NYC Two teens in New York City linkurl:discovered;http://newswire.rockefeller.edu/?page=engine&id=1017 a new species or subspecies of cockroach as part of a high school science project in which they collected and DNA barcoded dozens of biological samples from households in the Big Apple. They report their findings in the January issue of __BioScience__ magazine.
**__Related stories:__***linkurl:The five hottest biology papers of 2009;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/56223/
[17th December 2009]*linkurl: 2009 in review;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/56215/
[14th December 2009]

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