The Nutshell
Trace Archive Tops Billion-Record Mark
Jeff Perkel | Jan 18, 2006
Yesterday (Jan. 17) the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute linkurl:announced; that its linkurl:World Trace Archive database; had just crossed the 1 billion sequence mark. The Trace Archive is a collection of sequence reads, traces, and metrics from the world's sequencing facilities. It measures some 22 Terabytes in size and is doubling every 10 months, according to the press release. "To grasp how much data is in the
Turkeys: The world's smartest birds
Ivan Oransky | Jan 18, 2006
Now that 21 people have been infected with avian flu in Turkey, there has been a proliferation of news about the bird which Ben Franklin, who linkurl:celebrated his 300th birthday yesterday; , suggested as the US?s linkurl:national bird; . It turns out that turkeys are remarkably intelligent and technologically sophisticated. Today?s winner: linkurl:?Turkey able to develop bird flu vaccine: professor.?;h
Ben?s Birthday, Our Present
Brendan Maher | Jan 17, 2006
Rice University physicist Neal Lane penned linkurl:an interesting op-ed; in the __Houston Chronicle__ today. On the occasion of Benjamin Franklin?s 300th birthday, Lane asks (and takes a stab at answering) the question, what would Ben make of this whole intelligent design hubbub While unquestionably a man of God, Franklin reveled in science. Lane writes that Franklin would most certainly have cut any purported ID theorist a fai
A Killer Protein
Jeff Perkel | Jan 17, 2006
This month?s __Nature Biotechnology__ linkurl:includes an article; from Sergey Lukyanov that elevates fluorescent proteins from cool to killer. Lukyanov, of the Shemyakin-Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, and colleagues report the isolation of a GFP variant called KillerRed that acts as a photosensitizer. Photosensitizers produce reactive oxygen species upon stimulation with light; Killer
Fraud: Journals must act now
Richard Gallagher | Jan 16, 2006
linkurl:Today?s science fraud revelation; is that a study published in __The Lancet__, purportedly demonstrating that common painkillers could protect against oral cancer, was pure fiction. The response of __The Lancet__ Editor Richard Horton, linkurl:as quoted by the BBC; "The peer-review process is good at picking up poorly designed studies, but it is not designed to pick up fabricated research
Can any stem-cell paper be trusted?
Tabitha M. Powledge | Jan 14, 2006
So, just how untrustworthy is the stem-cell literature? Very, according to one of the field's leading lights, David Shaywitz of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. He's the author of linkurl:an op-ed piece; that was meant to defend the beleaguered field of stem-cell research, despite linkurl:fraudulent papers; from the lab of Korean researcher Hwang
Feel the Pain
Justin Silver | Jan 13, 2006
With the conference winding down, you can clearly feel the change in emotion throughout the halls, lobby and conference rooms of the St. Frances. What was once a vibrant and high energy crowd is now a dwindling group of tired and emotionally drained individuals. To navigate through the H&Q conference successfully, one needs stamina, good shoes and a strong posture. Call it coincidence, but the majority of companies I met with on Thursday were in the CNS field. My conclusion: The majority of
They Don't Call it Peerless Review
Brendan Maher | Jan 13, 2006
I received an Email advertising the new journal __Autophagy__ today. In a list of features about the journal, the Email adds: ?We also point out that we have an expedited review process if your paper was rejected from a ?flashy? journal; we all know that even solid papers do not always get accepted into the top general audience journals.? The policy is expanded on a bit in their linkurl:submission guidelines here;
International Deals
Justin Silver | Jan 12, 2006
My time has been spent in ?Europe.? In the last two days, I have been to Italy four times, London and France each twice and made brief stops in Germany and Switzerland. The series of meetings that I have had with European companies has caused me to come to the conclusion that companies in that region are undervalued, undermanaged, underappreciated and unhappy with the lack of availabe capital. The companies are therefore looking to gain additional investor support from US venture capitalists. At
CSI: My Cat
Alison McCook | Jan 11, 2006
Some acts of scientific creativity deserve recognition. After finding her dead cat, a Virginia woman named Marylin Christian had a number one suspect: her neighbor?s dog, a German Shepard mix named Lucky. According to the linkurl:Washington Post;, the woman, armed with memories of TV crime shows, asked Lucky?s owners for samples of saliva and fur. They obliged. Her county vet concluded that Lucky?s fur matc