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Top 10 News Stories | 2012 Year in Review

12/27/2012
Andrew S. Wiecek

From chimeric monkeys to drunk fruit flies, we take a look back at some of the top life science news stories, trends, and photos from 2012.


Top 10 News Stories | 2012 Year in Review

From chimeric monkeys to drunk fruit flies, we take a look back at some of the top life science news stories, trends, and photos from 2012.

Storified by BioTechniques· Thu, Dec 27 2012 14:01:24

The past year brought us a lawsuit against the Nobel Prize assembly, more concerns about the future of the biomedical workforce, and a music video featuring a down-on-his-luck Muppet lab assistant.     

Here’s a list of the most-viewed news stories on our website during 2012:   
BioTechniques - Chimeric Monkeys BornBy inserting genes from six different monkey embryos, US researchers have created the first chimera primates. Three chimera monkeys were ...
Topping this year’s list is the birth of three chimeric monkeys at the Oregon National Primate Research Center in January. These little creatures highlighted the need to study all types of stem cells and not just embryonic stem cells, which failed in the group’s early attempts to create a chimeric primate. Read more...
BioTechniques - Ph.D. Students Losing InterestPh.D. Students Losing Interest Ph.D. students often lost interest in their original career choice, but academia isn't very supportive of ...
Our second most popular story focused on how to grow the biomedical workforce, a topic that dominated our headlines in 2012. Biomedical research has always been competitive, but now that competition is driving many away from pursuing research careers, according to a study published earlier this year. The bigger problem that the study highlights is that academia might not be prepared to train them for other alternatives. Read more...   
BioTechniques - Insubordination in the LabInsubordination in the Lab In two recent cases, post-docs have published data without their principal investigator's consent. Can this be...
In two separate instances this year, postdocs published data without their principal investigator’s consent. In the comments section, readers clearly were divided; many pointed out that a postdoc’s career is often, and sometimes unfairly, at the mercy of their principal investigator. Overall, the article highlights the necessity for communication in the lab. Read more...
BioTechniques - Scientist Sues Nobel Prize AssemblyScientist Sues Nobel Prize Assembly A California scientist has filed suit in Orange County against the Nobel Assembly. Why? Find out. A r...
This year’s Nobel Prize was awarded to stem cell researchers John Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka. That was a mistake, says researcher Rongxiang Xu. He claims to have  pioneered the induced pluripotent stem cell technology a decade earlier than Yamanaka. Well, we’ll see if the court agrees with Xu or not. Read more...  
BioTechniques - Lab Grammys 2012: And the Winner for "Science Parody of the Year" Is...Lab Grammys 2012: And the Winner for "Science Parody of the Year" Is... After a furious battle for your votes, a winner has emerged in ou...
Our annual Lab Grammys come in at number five on this year’s list, and we understand why. Given all the doom-and-gloom about plummeting NIH funding success rates and the future of the biomedical workforce, who couldn't use a moment to unwind. This year’s contest winner was the song “Grad School, I Love You (But You’re Bringing Me Down),” which played off that doom-and-gloom feeling through our favorite Muppet lab assistant, Beaker. Read more...  
BioTechniques - Harvard Halts Animal Research After Fourth Primate DeathHarvard Halts Animal Research After Fourth Primate Death After the death of another primate, the head of Harvard's primate research cente...
Animal research remains an important aspect of biomedical research, but those advances should never come at the expense of avoidable suffering. In response to the fourth accidental primate death at one of its animal research facilities, Harvard University halted all work at that center. Hopefully they will provide additional training and new procedures to ensure these incidents do not occur again. Read more...
BioTechniques - When Fruit Flies Don't Get Sex, They Drink More AlcoholWhen Fruit Flies Don't Get Sex, They Drink More Alcohol A new study that links alcohol consumption to sex in fruit flies suggests that sc...
At number seven, we have sex-deprived fruit flies. In a study published in March, researchers found that fruit flies drink more alcohol when they are rejected by sexual partners. The study was looking at the reward system of these insects and traced this behavior back to a single protein called neuropeptide F. Read more...     
BioTechniques - Ph.D.s Should Be Trained for a Variety of Positions, Not Just ResearchPh.D.s Should Be Trained for a Variety of Positions, Not Just Research A NIH's working group recommends a shorter and more diverse traini...
Number eight focuses on the big unanswered question of 2012, which was how can we support future biomedical researchers better? In 2011, the NIH setup a task force to come up with some solutions. This year that task force reported back. In short, Ph.D.s need to be trained for careers outside of academic research. But the kink in that idea is that they are being trained by professors who have little career experience outside the bubble of academia. Read more...
BioTechniques - Obama and Romney Debate Science... Sort ofObama and Romney Debate Science... Sort of The two presidential candidates provide written answers to questions on 14 scientific issues. ...
Of course, 2012 was an election year, and, as usual, science policy took a backseat for most of the presidential policy promises. Thankfully, ScienceDebate has been at the forefront of pushing the candidates on their science policies. While they received written answers to their science policy questions, some of those answers came across as half-baked. Read more...   
BioTechniques - NIH Success Rate Hits All-time LowNIH Success Rate Hits All-time Low In 2011, the number of funded grants dropped while the number of submitted applications rose. Hoping t...
And at number ten, the NIH reported that the success rate for grant applications hit an all-time low last year. Only 18% of grant applications were funded in 2011. And right now, 2013 is not looking particularly brighter as the fiscal cliff with its sequestration is looming rather large at the moment. Read more...

Keywords:  2012 year in review