The Nutshell
Feudin? genetics style
Brendan Maher | Apr 9, 2007
A nice linkurl:AP story; talks about the hypothesis that much of the fuel for the famed Hatfield-McCoy feud might be attributed to Von Hippel-Lindau disease, a rare genetic disorder that predisposes those affected to highly-vascularized tumors. The reasoning is that adrenal tumors might be responsible for many of the McCoys' notorious tempers. There are some great quotes from actual family memb
Stem cell patent dispute: Wisc. fights back
Alison McCook | Apr 4, 2007
In the fallout from a linkurl:major decision; by the US patent agency to reject key stem cell patents for embryonic linkurl:stem cell research; held by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle has taken to the airwaves to defend the state's intellectual property. In a linkurl:statement; released yeste
NY stem cells get green light
Andrea Gawrylewski | Apr 2, 2007
The New York State legislature completed its budget yesterday, including a $600 million appropriation to fund stem cell research. For 2007, the state will provide the first $100 million, and the remainder of the money will come out of the Health Insurance Plan (HIP) of New York, with a $50-million-a-year cap not exceeding $500 million. However, it is unclear when the HIP funds will become available. As reported in The Scientist, a few linkurl:versions;
Lessons from Chimeras
Brendan Maher | Mar 29, 2007
The chimera marmoset story reported linkurl:here; and elsewhere is fascinating; I was stunned by the possibility, not heavily noted in a lot of press, that male cells might have made it into the germline of a female - that is XY cells from a male might have developed into eggs in his female twin sister resulting in a live birth. Germline transmission of one's brothers cells is interesting enough, but the idea of XY eggs is particularly interesting --
Debate continues over withdrawn mammography paper
Kerry Grens | Mar 28, 2007
Continuing a debate that started several months ago, The Lancet this month published several linkurl:letters,;┬žion=Correspondence including one from a publication ethics group, criticizing the linkurl:European Journal of Cancer; (EJC)'s decision to quietly withdraw a publication about mammography from its Web site without any explanation. In this latest round of letters the linkurl:
Cloning and Paperwork
Brendan Maher | Mar 28, 2007
Ian Wilmut talks about his disappointment in the failure to move forward on human stem cell research involving cloned embryos in today's Hartford Courant. linkurl:Read it here;,0,4944106.story?coll=hc-headlines-health Obviously the challenges are many, but to blame his failure to receive a license for cloning human embryos on getting behind in the paperwork does seem a bit odd. Wilmut had written for us when he was first applying said
Chimp lawsuit dismissed
Kerry Grens | Mar 23, 2007
Earlier this weak a judge dismissed a linkurl:lawsuit; filed by primate researcher Sally Boysen against Ohio State University (OSU). Boysen claims the University shut down the Chimpanzee Cognition Center at OSU and moved the animals to a sub-standard facility without her approval. Boysen also holds the university responsible for the death of two animals that died after their relocation. OSU says the Center was closed and the animals moved because B
Rabbit Island: For science no more
Alison McCook | Mar 22, 2007
Last Thursday, owners of Rabbit Island, a linkurl:pristine 36 acre environment; off the coast of British Columbia that has taught many budding scientists about natural phenomena, voted to sell the island to the highest bidder. Professor Dennis Kelly of Orange Coast College in California has been taking students to Rabbit Island for years to demonstrate things most collegians only read about in textbooks -- island gigantism in the form of an enormous
Cheers for UK science budget
Stephen Pincock | Mar 22, 2007
After all the linkurl:wailing and gnashing of teeth; in the UK recently over science budget cuts, the government is in the good books again. Why? The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, has vowed long term increases in funding in his latest (and probably last) linkurl:budget; announcement. Broadly speaking, the budget includes a promise that total investment in the public sci
Here, kitty kitty
Kerry Grens | Mar 20, 2007
I am waiting for a hypoallergenic cat. Not one to keep, but just one to prove all the skeptics wrong. In the January issue of the The Scientist I wrote an linkurl:article; about what scientists think of Allerca's hypoallergenic cats. The California company claims to have found and bred the world's first scientifically proven hypoallergenic cat, but most of the scientists I spoke with are dubious of its claims, not to mention the founder has a bi