The Nutshell
Yom Kippur and the Nobels
Ivan Oransky | Sep 28, 2006
On Monday, the Karolinska Institute will announce the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, kicking off a week of science Nobel announcements. And millions of Jews around the world will be in synagogue, observing the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur. Orthodox Jews, and even some Conservative Jews, like my family, don?t answer the phone on the holiday, even if they?re home. So that begs a question: What if an observant Jew is among the winners of the Physiology or Medicine pri
Results on islet cell transplants
Ivan Oransky | Sep 28, 2006
In May, James Shapiro linkurl:wrote in our pages; about progress using the Edmonton Protocol to transplant islet cells into patients with type 1 diabetes. In this week?s New England Journal of Medicine, he and a number of colleagues around the world linkurl:report the results; of a phase 1-2 trial of the protocol in 36 patients. The findings were consistent which previous studies that Shapiro d
Metagenomics probes a gutless wonder
Jeff Perkel | Sep 25, 2006
The last week has seen the appearance of two interesting reports on the use of linkurl:metagenomics; to probe the biology of microbial communities ? reports that demonstrate the emerging power of this technique to untangle metabolic mysteries in organisms that cannot be grown in the lab. The first, linkurl:published Sept. 17; in __Nature__, involves the annelid worm, __Olav
Find out what your candidates think of research
Ivan Oransky | Sep 18, 2006
Research!America today launched the linkurl:2006 Your Candidates ? Your Health Voter Guide; -- a site designed to help voters figure out how the candidates seeking their support feel about scientific research. The group sent 10 questions on subjects such as the CDC budget and basic science funding to all House and Senate candidates. To find out how they responded, plug in your zip code. This is an important and timely effort, with the US midterm elections
Laskers reward telomerase work
Ivan Oransky | Sep 16, 2006
Announced today: The linkurl:2006 Lasker Award; for Basic Medical Research is shared by Elizabeth Blackburn of the University of California, San Francisco, Carol Greider at Johns Hopkins University, and Jack Szostak of Harvard Medical School for their research on telomerase, the enzyme responsible for maintaining the length of linear chromosomes. In addition, Joseph Gall of the Carnegie Institution is being honored for his lifetime of discovery and innovation as
MAQC Unveils Microarray Magnum Opus
Jeff Perkel | Sep 12, 2006
The microarray research community and industry got a big boost last week with the release by the linkurl:Microarray Quality Control (MAQC) Project; Consortium, of a massive collection of data attesting to the reproducibility and reliability of microarray-based gene-expression profiling. Attempting to lay to rest, once and for all, the question of linkurl:microarray data reliability and reproducibility;
Who's up for top WHO job?
Stephen Pincock | Sep 7, 2006
The field candidates for the top job at the World Health Organization is dominated by a list of current and former WHO insiders, it emerged on Wednesday. Of the 13 nominees to fill the post of director general that was linkurl:left vacant; earlier this year by the death of Lee Jong-Wook, four currently hold senior WHO posts and three have former connections to the agency. Lee?s unexpected passing in May forced the WHO to put in place an accelera
A scientist hits the streets
Brendan Maher | Sep 5, 2006
The photo shoot for this month?s linkurl:feature on the postdoc glut; was obviously a spoof. At least that?s what we thought. Standing on the median of Broad street with a sign that says ?Have PhD, Will Work For Food,? Kevin Duffy expected to garner a few stares, but not much else. ?Some guy gave me his business card,? he told me. Someone walking on the set of the shoot asked what they were doing. Even though Kevin told them they were working on an
Nature press on errors
Brendan Maher | Aug 30, 2006
After issuing linkurl:two post-press corrections; to the release notes for a headline grabbing linkurl:news story about human embryonic stem cells; last week, Ruth Francis, __Nature__?s senior press officer said she got a lot of calls and emails from editors and journalists. They issued the second correction Friday night about 9pm Francis? time, just before a three day weekend which was bound to rais
The Embryo Corrections
Brendan Maher | Aug 25, 2006
When Robert Lanza?s group at Advanced Cell Technology reported linkurl:this week; creating so-called ethically clean ES cell lines (establishing colonies from an early human embryo without destroying it) they didn?t make clear whether they had actually accomplished this feat. This work might have potential, but the numbers speak to a logical smoke and mirror show. Using 16 blastomeres (embryos in the 8-to-10-cell stage), Lanza?s group extracted 9