Archive by date | October 2012

Policy paper: Myriad turns cancer genetic data into trade secrets

If the information Myriad Genetics has collected about breast cancer mutations remains proprietary, costs of gene tests could increase while quality declines, argues Robert Cook-Deegan, a policy researcher at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. In a paper published today in the European Journal of Human Genetics, Cook-Deegan and co-authors John Conley, James Evans, and Daniel Vorhaus urge health-care payers and policy makers to encourage the company to share clinical data and proprietary algorithms.  Read more

New York research facilities feel Sandy’s wrath

It was sometime around 8:00 pm on Monday night when the surging East River, driven by Hurricane Sandy, broke its banks and a deluge of brackish water came pouring into the basement of New York University’s Smilow Research Center at 30th Street. For neurobiologist Gordon Fishell, who was weathering the storm at his home in Larchmont, New York, it was the worst-case scenario for his research.  Read more

UK Antarctic research centre’s future hangs in the balance

British politicians have harshly criticised proposals to merge two world-leading research institutes, the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and the National Oceanography Centre. But even if it continues independently, it was also confirmed today that 10% of science staff at BAS are likely to lose their jobs.  Read more

US and New Zealand set aside differences to push for Antarctic protection

A proposed Antarctic marine reserve has overcome a potentially fatal stumbling block. The United States and New Zealand have reportedly agreed to set aside their differences and advance a joint proposal for a ‘marine protected area’ in the Ross Sea.  Read more

Earthquake triggers tsunami warning in Hawaii

The location of the 7.7 quake

A 7.7 earthquake off the west coast of Canada on Saturday evening triggered a series of tsunami alerts for the Pacific and some coastal evacuations in Hawaii. Although the quake was fairly large – the biggest Canada has seen in some 60 years – it produced waves of only about a metre in Hilo, Hawaii, and less than about 0.3 meters in California and British Columbia.  Read more

Fukushima fish still hot

Fukushima fish still hot

Data visualization is all the rage these days, but there’s nothing quite like getting the story from points on a graph. In today’s issue of Science, Ken Buesseler of the Wood’s Whole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts provides plots of radioactivity in fish around the ruined Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant that do just that (click image to enlarge).  Read more