By Mara Hvistendahl
SHANGHAI, CHINA—The e-mail arrived around noon from the mysterious sender “Publish SCI Paper,” with the subject line “Transfer co-first author and co-corresponding author.” A message body uncluttered with pleasantries contained a scientific abstract with all the usual ingredients, bar one: author names. The message said that the paper, describing a potential strategy for curbing drug resistance in cancer cells, had been accepted by Elsevier’s International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology. Now its authorship was for sale.
“There are some authors who don’t have much use for their papers after they’re published, and they can be transferred to you,” a sales agent for a company called Wanfang Huizhi told a Science reporter posing as a scientist. Wanfang Huizhi, the agent explained, acts as an intermediary between researchers with forthcoming papers in good journals and scientists needing to snag publications. The company would sell the title of co–first author on the cancer paper for 90,000 yuan ($14,800). Adding two names—co–first author and co–corresponding author—would run $26,300, with a deposit due upon acceptance and the rest on publication. A purported sales document from Wanfang Huizhi obtained by Science touts the convenience of this kind of arrangement: “You only need to pay attention to your academic research. The heavy labor can be left to us. Our service can help you make progress in your academic path!”… Continue Reading
Source: Science, November 29, 2013
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By Elton Alisson
Agência FAPESP – On June 14, FAPESP was visited by a delegation from the United Kingdom’s Biotechnology and Biosciences Research Council (BBSRC). The objective of the visit was to discuss possible program partnerships and combining research and strategies to promote innovation and excellence in research.
One of the seven member bodies of Research Councils United Kingdom (RCUK), the BBSRC invests approximately 400 million pounds sterling (R$ 1.36 billion) in funding for biotechnology and bioscience research throughout the United Kingdom each year.
By Frances Jones
Agência FAPESP – A scientific project begun 35 years ago in the heart of the Amazon Forest is bearing fruit around the globe. A million-dollar experiment developed by an international team on the island of Borneo in Asia is the most recent study to replicate and expand upon the Dynamic Biological Project on Forest Fragments (PDBFF), the result of cooperation between the National Institute of Amazon Research (Inpa) and the Smithsonian Institution.
By Elizabeth Pennisi
Science – Despite a slow economy, business in genomics has boomed and has directly and indirectly boosted the U.S. economy by $965 billion since 1988, according to a new study. In 2012 alone, genomics-related research and development, along with relevant industry activities, contributed $31 billion to the U.S. gross national product and helped support 152,000 jobs, the biomedical funding advocacy group United for Medical Research announced today in Washington, D.C.
Impact of Genomics on the U.S. Economy is an update to an industry-conceived report from 2011 by Battelle Technology Partnership Practice. At the time, Battelle calculated that the $3.8 billion U.S. federal investment in the Human Genome Project produced a return of $141 in economic output per dollar invested, a figure that President Barack Obama rounded off in his State of the Union address in February. Today’s update factors in an additional $8.5 billion in relevant federal support and, based on the total U.S. investment, concludes a 65 to 1 return on the government’s spending (adjusted to 2012 dollars).
Advocates for federal funding of biomedical research hope such rosy numbers will help persuade Congress to sustain support for the field.
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By Kerry Grens
MSN News — Evening primrose oil doesn’t reduce the symptoms of the itchy skin problem eczema, according to a new review of studies.
Herbal supplement makers market primrose oil as helpful in treating eczema, but “I don’t think you’ll get a specific benefit” from the pills, said Dr. Joel Bamford, the lead author of the review.
Eczema is a common skin disorder, especially among children, marked by itchy, red skin. Commonly, patients are prescribed steroid medications to treat the problem. Primrose oil initially showed some promise in studies several decades ago, said Bamford, who is an associate instructor at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Duluth.
But when he tried to replicate the findings, he found that primrose oil didn’t seem to work….. >>Continue Reading<<
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By Dennis Normile
Science — Japan’s government today approved a plan to spend $116 billion to jump-start the economy and set the stage for long-term growth. Sources in the Japanese press are hinting that research on renewable energy and on stem cells could land a significant chunk of the new cash. Continue reading
Scientists have genetically engineered a caffeine-addicted strain of E. coli that could help clean up environmental pollution.
Caffeine addiction may be good for Mother Nature.
Mankind’s caffeine addiction has taken a toll on the environment. But scientists believe a bacteria genetically engineered to be addicted to caffeine could help clean up after us. Continue reading