Archive by date | December 2012

Complete Genomics CEO rebuts warnings of national security risks

In a letter to employees, sequencing company Complete Genomics CEO Cliff Reid predicts that the acquisition of his company by Chinese sequencing giant BGI will win approval by national security regulators and be completed by the end of March in 2013.  Read more

Diseases of poverty remain sorely overlooked

A grim update on biomedical progress on the ‘neglected diseases’, which account for more than 2.6 million deaths per year, confirms how appropriate the name is. Just 3.8% of the 756 new drugs approved for use by US and Europe between 2000 to 2011 treat neglected diseases.  Read more

German court bars local-government interference with animal research

Andreas Kreiter

A landmark court ruling this week has ended uncertainties in Germany about who may decide the permissible level of animal suffering in experiments. On 11 December, Bremen’s administrative court said that local health authorities had been wrong in 2008 to block a licence for neuroscience studies on macaque monkeys.  Read more

German funding agency rules on long-running misconduct case

Germany’s main funding agency, the DFG, has imposed sanctions on Silvia Bulfone-Paus, the immunologist from the Research Centre Borstal who was at the centre of a data-manipulation scandal two years ago. An investigation committee commissioned by the centre had found that two lab members had manipulated data in four papers involving DFG-funded research on which they were first authors and lab-chief Bulfone-Paus was last author. In total 13 of her papers were retracted during 2011.  Read more

Texas cancer agency in criminal probe

When Bill Gimson, the executive director of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), submitted his resignation on Monday, he wrote, in part, that he has “been placed in a situation where I feel I can [no] longer be effective.”  … Read more

North Korea reaches space

North Korea reaches space

This morning, North Korea announced that it had successfully launched an Unha-3 rocket carrying a small satellite into orbit. Claims of success are nothing new for the regime, but this time, NORAD (the U.S.-Canadian defense radar network) confirmed that the nation had succeeded in placing a small object into orbit.  Read more

European unitary patent approved

Michel Barnier, Europe's Commissioner for Internal Market and Services

The European Parliament yesterday ended decades of wrangling over how to streamline the European Union’s patent system. On Tuesday 11 December it approved an ‘EU patent package’, an agreement among 25 member states to roll out a new unitary patent that will be valid in all signatory nations, and will be overseen by a single patent court.  Read more

Incoming chief scientist at Texas cancer agency discusses her role

Incoming chief scientist at Texas cancer agency discusses her role

Margaret Kripke, the newly appointed chief scientific officer at the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), took questions from reporters in a 25-minute teleconference this afternoon.  Kripke takes the job on 7 January, filling the shoes of Nobel laureate Al Gilman, who resigned in October. Since Kripke accepted the job a couple of weeks ago — a fact only announced yesterday — the agency’s chief commercialization officer has left, and, today, the departure of its executive director, Bill Gimson, was announced. Thirty of its scientific reviewers have also resigned.  Here is a summary of today’s news conference  … Read more