Archive by date | January 2011

Canada accelerates medical isotopes R&D

Canada accelerates medical isotopes R&D

Posted on behalf of Hannah Hoag The Canadian government is making a move to stop using nuclear reactors to produce medical isotopes. Natural Resources Canada announced yesterday that it would distribute CAN$31 million (US$31.1 million) to four teams that will use existing cyclotrons and linear accelerators to develop Technetium-99m (Tc-99m) by April 2012. An extra CAN$4 million will go on costs the government incurs in setting up and administering the overall programme. The federal government gave up on the National Research Universal reactor at Chalk River, Ontario, and its planned successor, two Multipurpose Applied Physics Lattice Experiment (MAPLE) reactors, after  … Read more

‘Climategate’: time to move on

‘Climategate’: time to move on

A UK parliamentary report on the so-called ‘Climategate’ email theft has expressed “some reservations” about two independent inquiries into the incident. However, the House of Commons science select committee says it is now time to implement the inquiries’ recommendations move on.

Corruption in global disease fund

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria says it is confident that it will not lose money from donors after weekend media reports of corruption eating up millions of dollars of its grants. The reports refer to “well-known incidents”, contain “no new revelations”, and have already been acted on, the fund said in a press release today; while its donor countries and board are satisfied with how it is tackling the issue, says fund spokesperson Jon Liden.

Though Sweden told local media that it was holding back a reported €167 million 2011-2013 funding pledge because of concerns about this corruption, Liden says he expects the country will shortly announce its full contribution to the cause.

On Sunday, the Associated Press reported that the international fund – which distributes billions of dollars to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria – saw as much as two-thirds of some grants eaten up by corruption. The report lists $4 million misappropriated in Mali, $4.1 million lost in Mauritania, similar problems in Djibouti and Zambia, free malaria drugs sent to Africa being stolen and resold, and blocked investigations of programmes in some of the most corruption-prone nations.

CIRM taps biotech exec for number two slot

CIRM taps biotech exec for number two slot

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine has chosen Ellen Feigal, a biotechnology executive and drug development expert, as its second-in-command. CIRM president Alan Trounson said the agency is to looking to Feigal to help it make good on its promise to translate basic science into treatments. “The primary aim is really to draw on her expertise in translational and clinical medicine, because that’s a pretty important part of our portfolio now,” Trounson said. Generating a tangible product is becoming ever more crucial for CIRM as the clock runs down on the ten-year lifespan of the agency, which was voted into  … Read more

Collins defends decision to dismantle NIH center

Collins defends decision to dismantle NIH center

Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), picked up the telephone and called reporters today, anxious to go public with his enthusiasm for an incipient translational medicine centre at NIH – and with his defense of the attendant dismantling of the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR). Collins last spoke with Nature in early December, when his Scientific Management Review Board approved plans for the new National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS), which aims to put NIH-funded researchers in the forefront of pushing therapies from lab to clinic. But since then, he has been prevented  … Read more

Carbon heist derails emissions trading

Carbon heist derails emissions trading

The European Commission has partially shut down its carbon-trading market – the world’s largest – after carbon allowances worth up to €30 million were stolen from insecure accounts.

The thefts mean more negative press for the European Union’s emissions trading scheme (ETS), a key pillar of efforts to force industries to cut their carbon dioxide emissions.

NASA’s last shuttle mission needs some gas money

NASA’s last shuttle mission needs some gas money

No money – no problem: Atlantis back in 2009. Photo:NASA/Jack Pfaller NASA has added one more Space Shuttle flight to the schedule of launches before its veteran fleet is retired, despite not actually having any money at the moment to pay for the mission. Yesterday the agency announced it would try to send the Atlantis shuttle up to the International Space Station on 28 June this year. As a NASA statement notes, it has been ‘maintaining the capability’ for the mission since December and a 2010 act does authorize it to conduct this final shuttle mission. But Congress never signed  … Read more