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Posts

April 22, 2014

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11:23 AM | Film on scientists gets national award
Featured on this blog earlier for its powerful narration of the life and science of India’s celebrated scientist triad Bose-Raman-Saha, The Quantum Indians has now won India’s National Film Award as the best educational film of 2013.  Read more

April 21, 2014

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12:12 PM | Away from home: Of ‘small’ things & big
The ‘Away from home‘ blogging series features Indian postdocs working in foreign labs recounting their experience of working there, the triumphs and challenges, the cultural differences and what they miss about India. They also offer useful tips for their Indian postdocs headed abroad. You can join in the online conversation using the #postdochat hashtag.  Read more

April 20, 2014

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5:00 PM | How to make graphene in a kitchen blender
Don’t try this at home. No really, don’t: it almost certainly won’t work and you won’t be able to use your kitchen blender for food afterwards. But buried in the supplementary information of a research paper published today is a domestic recipe for producing large quantities of clean flakes of graphene.  Read more

April 18, 2014

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2:35 PM | Moon dust probe crashes
A NASA spacecraft that studied lunar dust vapourized into its own cloud of dust when it hit the far side of the Moon, as planned, in a mission-ending impact on 17 April. Launched last September, the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) finished its primary mission in March. In early April, on an extended mission, it made close passes as low as 2 kilometres above the surface, gathering science data on more than 100 low-elevation orbits. Mission controllers deliberately crashed […]
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11:30 AM | The biotech industry with Rob Carlson
In this interview, I speak to Dr. Rob Carlson, a Principal at Biodesic, an engineering and strategic consulting firm in Seattle that provides services to governments and corporations around the globe. At the broadest level, Dr. Carlson is interested in the future role of biology as a human technology. He is the author of the book Biology is Technology: The Promise, Peril, and New Business of Engineering Life, published in 2010 by Harvard University Press; it received the […]

April 16, 2014

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11:17 AM | New agricultural trends to feed the world
The agriculture sector needs to double food production by 2050 to meet growing global populations – a tremendous feat considering the challenges posed by climate change, water shortage and how the increase in farming land is not catching up with demand. That’s why scientists are up to their ears looking for ways to sustainably increase production of crops capable of withstanding different environmental stresses.  Read more

April 15, 2014

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8:41 PM | Highlights from the Keystone Symposium on Stem Cells & Reprogramming
I recently attended the joint Keystone Symposium “Stem Cells & Reprogramming” and “Engineering Cell Fate & Function” at the beautiful Resort at Squaw Creek. In addition to gorgeous weather, there was an amazing lineup of talks demonstrating the power and promise of stem cells and cell/tissue engineering. Here are just a few of the highlights from the meetings:  … Read more
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10:28 AM | OpenSciLogs – A Glimpse of the Future of Science Blogging
Guest blog post by Paige Brown, SciLogs.com blogging manager and Ph.D. student in the Manship School of Mass Communication, Louisiana State University.  Read more
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12:19 AM | Events
Grab your calendar, plan ahead — biotech events through June, including the annual BIO Convention.  Read more

April 14, 2014

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11:30 AM | Trouble in Haven: Resolving conflicts in academia
Sharing a laboratory with others is typically rewarding – peers in close quarters become a sounding post for new ideas and a support network for the highs and lows of research life. But you don’t choose your desk mates and things can go wrong. Regular Naturejobs contributor Shimi Rii recently experienced how small disagreements can escalate quickly. Finding the right way to deal with conflict is not easy but necessary in order to ensure a harmonious work environment.  Read more

April 13, 2014

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3:42 PM | IPCC report calls for climate mitigation action now, not later
The world is heading towards possibly dangerous levels of global warming despite increasing efforts to promote the transition to a low-carbon economy, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warns in its latest report today.  Read more

April 11, 2014

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3:46 PM | Shorter list for gamma-ray telescope sites, but no home yet
Where will host the world’s next generation ground-based γ-ray detector, the Cherenkov Telescope Array? The answer is, still no one knows. But a panel of funders have narrowed the field following a meeting in Munich, Germany, this week.  Read more
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1:19 PM | World Wildlife Fund’s Dr Brendan Fraser on improving fish diversity and conservation agriculture in Mozambique
Dr. Brendan Fisher is a research scientist at the World Wildlife Fund. His research and fieldwork lie at the nexus of conservation, development, and natural resource economics. Brendan is the author of over 50 peer-reviewed articles on topics such as poverty, human welfare, ecosystem services and biological conservation, and the co-author of two books, Valuing Ecosystem Services (Earthscan, London, 2008) and A Field Guide to Economics for Conservationists (Forthcoming, Roberts and […]
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12:23 PM | Away from home: Collaboration in a global organisation
The ‘Away from home‘ blogging series features Indian postdocs working in foreign labs recounting their experience of working there, the triumphs and challenges, the cultural differences and what they miss about India. They also offer useful tips for their Indian postdocs headed abroad. You can join in the online conversation using the #postdochat hashtag.  Read more
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10:06 AM | Under the covers (Nature revealed) – 10 April 2014
In the latest Under the covers (Nature revealed) blog, Nature’s Art Director Kelly Krause discusses the inspiration behind this week’s front cover choice on brain-wide axonal projection patterns.  Read more

April 10, 2014

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9:47 PM | Former NIH stem-cell chief joins New York foundation
Stem-cell biologist Mahendra Rao, who resigned last week as director of the US National Institutes of Health’s Center for Regenerative Medicine (CRM), has a new job. On April 9, he was appointed vice-president for regenerative medicine at the New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF), a non-profit organization that funds embryonic stem cell research.  Read more
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2:00 PM | As gene therapy technologies blossom, ddRNAi tries to take root
Before there was Twitter, there was Facebook, and before that, Friendster. And who can forget MySpace? There’s a similar trend of successive usurping technologies in the fast-moving quest to develop therapeutics capable of modifying the genome. Since the late nineties, we’ve witnessed the rise of several gene-silencing approaches, from “antisense” oligonucleotides and RNA interference (RNAi) to the latest targeted genome-editing techniques, such as those based on zinc […]
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1:15 PM | Entrepreneurship with Steve Blank
In this month’s Windback Wednesday series, we’re exploring entrepreneurship: how to brush up on your business skills, where to get venture capital funding and more. In this podcast, I speak to Steve Blank, an associate professor at Stanford University engineering school, a lecturer at UC Berkeley Haas Business School, Columbia Business School and the University of California in San Fransisco (UCSF). On top of all of that, he is also a thought leader of […]

April 09, 2014

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5:55 PM | Acid-bath stem cell scientist apologizes and appeals
Haruko Obokata, the Japanese scientist at the centre of a controversy over studies purporting to turn mature cells to stem cells simply by bathing them in acid or subjecting them to mechanical stress, today apologized for her errors in the work.  Read more
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10:32 AM | Eyewire: Solving mysteries of the brain through gaming
While some may be familiar with the concept–made famous by Foldit, a pioneer online video puzzle where you “fold” protein as part of a University of Washington research project–the crowd at Bibliotheca Alexandria were blown away by a similar game model: Eyewire, neurology’s first ever computation game, open to laypeople.  Read more
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8:00 AM | Windback Wednesday: Entrepreneurship
The word entrepreneur comes from the 13th century french verb entreprendre, which literally translates to “to do something” or “to undertake”. By the 16th century, the word entrepreneur had developed a meaning of its own: someone who undertakes a business venture. It’s distinguishing features, according to Richard Cantillon (an 18th century economist), are an understanding of risk and being prepared to do business without guaranteed profits. Sounds scary, but it […]
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12:33 AM | Monthly Map
Ireland looks into dairy cows, the UK eyes synthetic biology, and the Philippines grapples with Bt eggplant. (You want it big? Click the image.)  … Read more

April 08, 2014

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2:42 PM | Imagine not getting the PhD you’d been working towards… #datadramas
What would happen if you lost all of your research data? The loss of scientific data can have a devastating impact on careers. Imagine if you lost all of the research data you’d been diligently collecting for four years. Now imagine the knock-on effect; you wouldn’t get the PhD you’d been working towards and your future career would be impacted. This nightmare situation actually happened to Billy Hinchen. Hear his story.  Read more
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11:21 AM | Emily Anthes discusses how biotechnology is shaping the future of our furry and feathered friends
Emily Anthes is a science journalist and author. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Wired, Scientific American, Psychology Today, BBC Future, SEED, Discover, Popular Science, Slate, The Boston Globe, and elsewhere.  Read more

April 07, 2014

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11:59 PM | A re-SMARCable finding
On March 23, Nature Genetics published 3 related papers reporting the finding that SMARCA4 is frequently mutated in a rare ovarian cancer type, small cell carcinoma of the ovary, hypercalcemic type (SCCOHT) [Jelinic et al 2014, Ramos et al 2014, Witkowski et al 2014]  … Read more
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5:45 PM | Talking “rubbish” with the environment minister
Sitting down with Minister of Environment Laila Iskandar at Alexandria’s ongoing Biovision conference, she talked to Nature Middle East about going back to the basics in terms of solid waste sorting and recycling–a thing that was overdue, according to her.  Read more
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11:30 AM | How to break out of a scientific career rut, Part 3: Investigate internal barriers
 Contributor, Ben Thomas  … Read more
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10:18 AM | Nature Futures Competition: The Winners Revealed
At the start of this year, Futures ran a competition challenging readers to write a science-fiction story in just 200 characters. After a difficult judging session, we’re pleased to award first prize to Catherine Rastovski, who wins a year’s subscription to Nature plus a gift voucher for the Futures 1 eBook. Five runners up — Adam Flanders, Arran Frood, Judith Reeves-Stevens, Anssi Sajama and Chaim Schramm— also receive gift vouchers for Futures 1.  Read more

April 04, 2014

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1:59 PM | Chief Scientific Adviser to the European Commission discusses evidence-based policy and nurturing and supporting a European scientific culture
Professor Anne Glover joined the European Commission as Chief Scientific Adviser to the President in January 2012, and is the first person to hold this position.  Read more
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1:41 PM | Lunar dust mission still chasing mystery of ‘horizon glow’
NASA is preparing one last blast for its expired Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft — a controlled crash into the Moon’s surface, probably on 21 April. But before it goes, LADEE will take a final shot at unraveling one of the top mysteries it went to the Moon to uncover.  Read more
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