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tl;dr: French scientists are working on technology to ‘reroute’ earthquakes & seismic activity away from inhabited areas.
Dr. Haruko Obokata, a rising star of the scientific community and lead author on two papers heralded as revolutionizing to the field of stem cell research, has been found guilty of scientific misconduct by Japan’s leading research institute.
The accusation is the latest problem for the studies, which claimed to be able to produce stem cells from ordinary cells in simple laboratory procedures: bathing regular cells in an acid, or applying mechanical stressors like “squeezing.” The research, known as stimulus triggered activation of pluripotency (STAP), was published in Nature in January, and recently ran into questions of methodology.
On Tuesday morning, the research institute RIKEN announced that Obokata, 30, had deliberately fabricated the data to produce the findings. Institute director Ryoji Noyori said he planned to “rigorously punish relevant people after procedures in a disciplinary committee,” according to AFP. Shunsuke Ishii, chairman of the investigative committee on the issue, told reporters that “Obokata alone is responsible for the misconduct.”
Our latest cover story: The Only Thing Scarier Than Bio-Warfare is the Antidote by Susan Scutti
As poorly regulated labs race to find the next antidote, bio-error may be more likely to cause an epidemic than bio-terror.
Imagine a future when Big Data has access not only to your shopping habits, but also to your DNA and other deeply personal data collected about our bodies and behavior - and about the inner workings of our proteins and cells. What will the government and others do with that data? And will we be unaware of how it’s being used - or abused - until a future Edward Snowden emerges to tell us?
Awesome photo with this Newsweek story on a new, self-cleaning tape inspired by gecko feet.
A single toe stuck to a wall is all a gecko needs to support its entire body weight. These tiny lizards have evolved microscopic hairs on their feet that exploit intermolecular forces to help them defy gravity on all kinds of surfaces: smooth or rough, dry or wet, clean or dirty. That’s why the gecko is the muse for science’s next generation of adhesives, and one such technology could be coming soon to a hardware store near you. A new gecko-inspired tape developed by a team of engineers at Carnegie Mellon University is super strong, cheap, and cleans itself with multiple uses, easily shedding dirt particles that limit the reusability of conventional adhesives, like those used in Post-It notes
Happy anniversary, Symbolia! To celebrate one full year of existence, we’re publishing a very special double issue on OUTER SPACE. Learn about black holes, canals on Mars, space architecture, and more. Subscribe to Symbolia on iPad or via PDF today.
Contributors include: Kyria Abrahams, Serenity Caldwell, MacKenzie Haley, Madeleine Johnson, Kat Leyh, Jed McGowan, Roxanne Palmer, and the Stanford Graphic Novel Project.
The first moments of an X-class significant solar flare in different wavelengths of light.
(Photo credit: REUTERS/NASA/SDO)
Five children in California have been paralyzed by a mystery virus – and scientists are still in the dark.
On the surface, these cases looked a lot like polio. But the last time poliovirus claimed an American victim was in 1979, and all of these children had been vaccinated.
Whatever they had was something else - something rare and possibly new.
Each year, more than 25 million animals are used for scientific research in the U.S. More than 90 percent of those are mice - sort of. These lab-raised animals don’t burrow or gather like their wild peers. They are more like abstractions of human ills, mouse models of disease, genetically engineered to die in a very particular way.
"This is the central contradiction of animal experimentation: Mice are like us in all the ways that matter, so they’re used as stand-ins for humans - but the moral significance of those similarities is ignored," says Justin Goodman, who has been an animal rights activist since he saw scientists drill holes in the heads of monkeys as an undergraduate at the University of Connecticut.
Since the 1980s, the rise of transgenesis - the science of genetic engineering - has brought with it a seemingly endless series of biomedical breakthroughs. It has also opened up a field of inquiry about the unnerving price of all this. “The use of primates in research has increased, and the use of mice has exploded,” Goodman tells Newsweek.