[caption id="attachment_40428" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="UC San Diego professors Herbert Levine, Jose Onuchic, and Peter Wolynes are leaving for Rice University in Houston. (McClatchy-Tribune Information Services)"][/caption]

The University of California at San Diego faced a losing battle recently when it tried to hang on to three star scientists being wooed by Rice University for cutting-edge cancer research.

The recruiting package from the private Houston university included 40-percent pay raises, new labs, and a healthy flow of research money from a Texas state bond fund. But another factor, unrelated to Rice, helped close the deal:...

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