Corruption influences migration of skilled workers
HEIDELBERG, 17 May 2013 – Countries that have higher levels of corruption struggle to attract and retain skilled workers report the authors of a new study published in EMBO reports.
San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment
MAY 16, 2013—An ad hoc coalition of unlikely insurgents—scientists, journal editors and publishers, scholarly societies, and research funders across many scientific disciplines—today posted an international declaration calling on the world scientific community to eliminate the role of the journal impact factor (JIF) in evaluating research for funding, hiring, promotion, or institutional effectiveness.
Researchers outline concerns about unproven stem cell therapies
HEIDELBERG, 3 May 2013 – An international group of leading stem cell researchers has issued a statement that specifies concerns about the development and use of unproven stem cell therapies. The commentary is published online today in The EMBO Journal ahead of a debate in the Italian parliament on whether to change a recent law that allows certain untested stem cell therapies to be used by the public health system. The authors of the commentary argue that rigorous clinical testing and regulation of stem cell therapies are essential to introduce safe and effective medical interventions for patients.
Sequencing tracks animal-to-human transmission of bacterial pathogens
HEIDELBERG, 25 March 2013 – Researchers have used whole genome sequencing to reveal if drug-resistant bacteria are transmitted from animals to humans in two disease outbreaks that occurred on different farms in Denmark. The results, which are published today in EMBO Molecular Medicine, confirm animal-to-human transmission of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a disease-causing bacterium that carries the recently described mecC gene. The mecC gene is responsible for resistance to the penicillin-like antibiotic methicillin.
Hereditary neurodegeneration linked to ADP-ribose modification
HEIDELBERG, 12 March 2013 – Attaching chains of the small molecule ADP-ribose to proteins is important for a cell’s survival and the repair of DNA damage, making this process a promising target for the development of new cancer drugs. Researchers have now identified a much sought after enzyme that removes such ADP-ribose modifications from proteins by studying a genetic mutation that causes neurodegenerative disease in humans. These findings, published today in The EMBO Journal, suggest that not only addition but also removal of ADP-ribose from proteins is essential for normal cell function.
Neuronal activity induces tau release from healthy neurons
HEIDELBERG, 15 February 2013 – Researchers from King’s College London have discovered that neuronal activity can stimulate tau release from healthy neurons in the absence of cell death. The results published by Diane Hanger and her colleagues in EMBO reports show that treatment of neurons with known biological signaling molecules increases the release of tau into the culture medium. The release of tau from cortical neurons is therefore a physiological process that can be regulated by neuronal activity.
New citation indicators needed to measure research performance
HEIDELBERG, 12 February 2013 – How do you compare the impact of a researcher in chemistry or physics with a molecular biologist who may be working on similar projects? In an article published today in EMBO reports two experts support the use of citation indicators that are based on percentiles, a statistical parameter that allows for comparisons with a carefully defined group of reference data. Journal impact factors and h-index alone do not make the grade.
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