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27 November 2013 12:59 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The new head of the National Center for Science Education promises to "fight the good fight" against attacks on...
Analyses of the H7N9 strains isolated from four new cases show that the virus is evolving rapidly, heightening anxiety...
In 2009, Jack Szostak shared a Nobel Prize for his part in discovering the role of telomeres, the end bits of...
Science has exposed a thriving academic black market in China involving shady agencies, corrupt scientists, and...
Paper-selling agencies flourish in the aura of reputable businesses. For some scientists, it may be difficult to tell...
Featuring the first lunar rover in 40 years, Chang'e-3 is seen as an important milestone on China's quest to send a...
Data collected by satellites and floating probes have chronicled a 2-decade rise in the temperature and thickness of a...
Cholesterol, the artery-clogging molecule that contributes to cardiovascular disease, has another nasty trick up its...
- 27 November 2013 12:59 pm , Vol. 342 , #6162
- About Us
To Russia, With Love
31 January 2012 4:08 pm
Stephen J. O'Brien, has left the National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) Laboratory of Genomic Diversity after 25 years as its head to help jump-start genome bioinformatics at St. Petersburg University in Russia. Last fall, O'Brien was awarded a 3-year, $5 million "megagrant" from the Russian Ministry of Education and Science, a program started in 2010 to boost Russian science by attracting big-name researchers to work at least part-time in that country. Though a cancer institute researcher, O'Brien had also concentrated on comparative genetic studies to understand the evolution and conservation of mammals. In 2009, he and two others started the Genome 10K project, a call for the sequencing of 10,000 vertebrates. However, NCI was becoming ever less supportive of nonhuman research and "the list of things they didn't want me to do was longer than the list of things they wanted me to," says O'Brien. He says he knew his work with the Genome 10K project would be limited and that he wouldn't be able to accept the megagrant while still working for NCI. So last month, he retired from NCI.
The megagrants program has gotten mixed reviews. Yet O'Brien says he is making headway setting up the new center, to be named after a famous Russian evolutionary biologist, Theodosius Dobzhansky. Over the next 3 years, O'Brien will spend at least 4 months per year in Russia working at the center, which is due to open in May. "I'm very excited about the prospects for the future," he says.