Archive by date | February 2011

Bayh-Dole on trial: US Supreme Court hears arguments in university patent case

Bayh-Dole on trial: US Supreme Court hears arguments in university patent case

It is easy to imagine the days that Mark Holodniy signed the papers. First he was a new hire at a university, perhaps presented with a thick stack of boring paperwork before he could get started. Then he was collaborator, likely eager to try a few experiments at a nearby company.  Read more

ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit upbeat, despite budget questions

ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit upbeat, despite budget questions

The US Department of Energy kicked off its ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit on Monday with a day-long pre-conference workshop bringing together programme officials and the full suite of stakeholders, including university researchers, venture capitalists and upstart clean energy companies. Despite questions surrounding the budgetary battle on Capitol Hill, the first day was an upbeat affair that mixed pep talks and science seminars with music from the likes of the Dave Matthews Band.  Read more

Fight against cereal killer receives $40 million boost

Fight against cereal killer receives $40 million boost

A serious killer is stalking the world’s wheat crops, placing millions at risk of famine. Now, in a renewed commitment toward eliminating the wheat stem rust pathogen called Ug99, the UK’s Department of International Development (DFID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have $40 million to Cornell University’s plant research program.

Italian seismology manslaughter hearing delayed again

Italian seismology manslaughter hearing delayed again

Posted on behalf of Nicola Nosengo The second anniversary of the earthquake that hit the Italian city of L’Aquila in 2009, killing 308 people, is on 6 April. But even then, it will be still too soon to know whether six Italian seismologists will be tried for manslaughter because of what they told the government and the population in the days before the earthquake. The case has been dragging on since last June, when the public prosecutor of L’Aquila indicted the scientists and one civil protection official (See Nature’s story here). The accusation revolves around a press conference held in  … Read more

Dozens of prisoner experiments unearthed, as President’s bioethics commission meets

Dozens of prisoner experiments unearthed, as President's bioethics commission meets

Revelations that US government researchers gave syphilis to hundreds of Guatemalan prisoners in the 1940s prompted a formal apology last year, as well as a President’s bioethics commission meeting that starts today. But it turns out that the US government has more skeletons in its closet.  Read more

Malaspina expedition: Deep sea -omics

Malaspina expedition: Deep sea -omics

The sun returned to the Hespérides Saturday. Scientists sprawled on the flight deck after lunch, indulging in short siestas or playing a little foosball in the hangar. Just before 3pm, an alarm clock rang and one of the researchers sprang up to check on a filter running downstairs in the laboratory.

German scientists outraged in defence minister plagiarism affair

Thousands of German scientists and academics have signed an open letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel expressing their unhappiness over the official handling of the by-now notorious case of plagiarism on the part of her minister of defence.  Read more

Irish election raises questions for stem cell research

The Fianna Fail party, in power in Ireland since 1997, had supported science well enough over the last decade or so to allow the small country to dramatically raise its international profile. This year it even scraped into the top twenty science-producing countries in terms of citations per research paper.  Read more

US bidders protest radio antenna decision

US bidders protest radio antenna decision

The US National Science Foundation (NSF) is being charged with cronyism and procedural irregularities in the awarding of a valuable radio antenna to an international collaboration. A protest letter sent by a US bidder, obtained by Nature this week under public records laws, lays out the allegations in greater detail than when we reported the story on February 1.  Read more