Science  07 Sep 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5536, pp. 1745

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  1. More Censure for Hopkins

    Johns Hopkins University's process for reviewing studies of human subjects is “grossly inadequate,” and “it is critical that the culture of the institution change.” That stark assessment comes from an outside panel tasked with probing the death of a volunteer in an asthma study last spring.

    The conclusions of the five-member panel—led by Samuel Hellman, dean emeritus of the University of Chicago's medical school—are similar to those of an internal review and the federal Office for Human Research Protections, which found problems with informed consent procedures and university oversight (Science, 27 July, p. 587). In its 8 August report, the panel also found “possible subtle coercion” of staff to volunteer for studies. But Hellman is “optimistic” that Hopkins can correct course in light of many reforms now under way.

  2. Want to Be a Millionaire?

    Maybe money can't buy happiness. But the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) is hoping that it can buy a better science education for thousands of U.S. undergraduates. The Bethesda, Maryland-based philanthropy last week announced plans to give $1 million over 4 years to each of 20 faculty selected from 84 top research universities.

    “It's a grand experiment,” says molecular biologist Edward Cox, who runs a Hughes-funded summer research program for undergraduates at Princeton University. Cox says that the challenge for Hughes is “finding people with the right blend of an active research program and high-quality teaching skills.” The first grants will be awarded in August 2002.

  3. Cluck, cluck

    China, the United Kingdom, and other nations say the chicken should be the next vertebrate fed to the genome sequencers. Researchers attending the 10th International Strategy Meeting on Human Genome Sequencing last week in Hangzhou, China, agreed that sequencing the chicken could not only help agriculture, but also “medicine, [as it] helps us to understand humans [and] developmental embryology,” said sequencing guru Eric Lander of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Beijing Genomics Institute may take the lead on the project, but poultry genome planners must still decide on which chicken variety to work on and how to raise the $35 million needed to start. Lander says those decisions could come within 6 months.