RNA interference (RNAi) is a Nobel Prize-winning discovery first published in 1998 by Andrew Fire and Craig Mello. The potential of RNAi technology to silence genes involved in disease was apparent from the beginning, at least in theory. These theoretical RNAi therapies would switch off genes upregulated in diseased cells, such as in cancer or Huntington's disease. However, delivering RNAi treatments to deep tissues within the body posed enormous challenges until now.

Wednesday, 05 June 2013 20:00

The Seacoast of Illinois?

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MBL Vote Moves Woods Hole Landmark Toward Deal with University of Chicago

Shakespeare famously set the shipwreck scene of The Winter's Tale in "Bohemia, a desert country near the sea," a geographical stretch unrivaled until the vote last Saturday by the Marine Biology Laboratory (MBL) Corporation, the scientific membership body that holds residual legal rights but no direct control over the MBL in Woods Hole, MA, to affiliate with the University of Chicago (UChicago). The seacoast of Illinois is now one step closer as the members' overwhelming vote of 158-2 gave MBL's Board of Trustees authority to negotiate terms with UChicago in a deal that would hopefully leave the 125-year-old MBL as a distinct institution but provide relief from its ongoing financial woes.

A foundation created by a Slovakian-born microbiologist who helped shape a monoclonal antibody into a clinically effective tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker will once again award three $35,000 no-strings cash prizes to young immigrant scientists who demonstrate "exceptional" records of early career achievement in the life sciences.

The "journal impact factor" rebellion is spreading. In the two weeks since it first went online, DORA—the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment  hat calls on scientists and scientific organizations around the world to minimize use of the journal impact factor (JIF) in evaluating research and  researchers—has seen the number of individual signers jump from 155 to 6,083 while the number of scientific organizations signing on has gone from 78 to 231.

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