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Pharmaceuticals are in decline as an industry due to over-regulation, lawsuits and cultural distrust. A new initiative from the European Medicines Agency, to commit to releasing all of the information from clinical trials once the marketing authorization process has ended, is being cheered by proponents of access to data but the pharmaceutical industry is less pleased. 

Writing in an editorial, PLoS Medicine writes, "As 2013 begins, it is clear that critical times lie ahead for the publishing of clinical trials, which may define the relationship between pharmaceutical companies and the public for many years to come.


Ridges spidering through impact craters on Mars appear to be the fossilized remnants of underground cracks through which water once flowed, according to a new analysis in Geophysical Research Letters.

The finding lends credence to the idea that the subsurface environment on Mars once had an active hydrology. Since this is about another planet, it is also required in 2013 that all science articles imply the discovery could have important ramifications for finding life on other planets.  


The upcoming century could see trees in the continental US producing spring leaves an average of 17 days earlier than in the past century, according to a new study by Princeton University researchers.

The good news: These changes could lead to changes in the composition of northeastern forests and give a boost to their ability to take up carbon dioxide. 

Trees play an important role in taking up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, so researchers wanted to evaluate predictions of spring budburst — when deciduous trees push out new growth after months of winter dormancy — from models that predict how carbon emissions will impact global temperatures.


Researchers employing a century-old observational technique have determined the precise configuration of humulones, substances derived from hops that give beer its distinctive flavor.

 That might not sound like a big deal but the findings overturn results reported in scientific literature for the last 40 years and could lead to new pharmaceuticals to treat diabetes, some types of cancer and other maladies.

 "Now that we have the right results, what happens to the bitter hops in the beer-brewing process makes a lot more sense," said Werner Kaminsky, a University of Washington research associate professor of chemistry.


A new study in mice found that it might be possible to fine-tune mitochondria, tweaking one aspect to increase insulin sensitivity, reduce body and fat mass, and even extend life.

The researchers say exploiting this target could one day lead to novel treatments for type 2 diabetes, an endocrine system disease that affects 8 percent of the U.S. population. The research also points to promising new avenues of investigation in the biology of aging.

The studyfound that diminished activity of a protein complex involved in mitochondrial function was associated with healthy changes in the mice. The median life span of this strain of mice is 20 percent longer. 


No one thinks much about morality these days, besides it being a personal metric. Once postmodernists and moral relativists took over philosophy, it became overrun with amateur ponderings. Now it has social psychologists seeking to bring back some objectivity.

Getting people to think about morality as objective facts rather than subjective preferences may lead to improved moral behavior, Boston College academics write in a new paper.