October 2012 – A
The Regional Jamborees of the iGEM competition are over and the teams that advanced to the World Championship were announced. The regional winner teams for each region are: Asia, team SJTU-BioX-Shanghai; Europe, team Groningen; Latin America, team Colombia; Americas East, team Penn; Americas West, team Berkeley. Congratulations!
The Nobel Prizes were awarded this year and the Prize in Physiology or Medicine was given to Sir John Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka for the discovery that differentiated cells can re-programme themselves to a pluripotent state. Also, the Prize in Chemistry was given to Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka for their research on receptors coupled to G-proteins.Cell Press made a collection with the papers the scientist published with this publishing group.
The European Food Safety Authority published its initial posture on the claims made by a publication regarding the safety of glyphosate-exposed genetically modified maize. Briefly, the European Authority stated that this paper “is of insufficient scientific quality to be considered as valid for risk assesment” and notes that the main flaws in this study are, among others: the rat strain they used is reported to be prone to developing tumors; the lack of some control groups; the non-observance of international standards that state a minimum rat number for this kind of studies to account for the tumors that appear because of chance, as well as some issues with the statistical method that was employed and the food regime data.