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SNP Technology Focuses on Terror Victims' IDs

By | October 14, 2002

Graphic: Courtesy of Orchid Biosciences  SNP-based identifications are possible with fragments one-fourth the size needed for other methods. A well-lit, chrome-and-steel room hums as a robot uses multiple arms to carry 384-well plates from their platforms into readers, where an "SNPscope"--which has the capacity to read just a few pixels of fluorescence--captures data from the entire plate in six minutes and automatically transfers it to computer screens. A half-dozen researchers and ana

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The March of the Monarch

By | October 14, 2002

Photo: Courtesy of Lincoln P. Brower, Sweet Briar College  FIGHTING FOR SURVIVAL: Overwintering monarch butterflies on the ground after a snow and rain storm in the Sierra Chincua, January 20, 1983. Many of these survived because the temperature didn't plunge below freezing following the storm. Across my dreams with nets of wonder I chase the bright elusive butterfly of love --Bob Lind Jan. 11, 2002 started a bad weekend for monarch butterflies. Late that night, an unusually powerful

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Conservation Takes the Forefront

By | September 30, 2002

Top and left: courtesy of Craig Sholley; Right: Courtesy of AWF/IGCP  IN THEIR WORLD: A gorilla rests with her infant as another gorilla plays in the trees. At right are Annette Lanjouw and Mbake Sivha in Goma, standing on lava after the Nyiragongo volcano eruption of Jan. 21 this year. Next to chimpanzees, gorillas are the closest living human relatives. Yet, humans have loved, sold, killed, even eaten gorillas. Dian Fossey's popularization of her field work with mountain gori

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COX-2 Inhibitors Tackle Cancer

By | September 30, 2002

Image: Courtesy of Hibiki Kawamata, Smith College A drug developer's dream, rationally designed to quell inflammation, COX-2 inhibitors are also prime candidates for preventing cancer or its recurrence. Gary J. Kelloff, chief of the chemoprevention branch at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), lists the requirements for a molecular target such as the COX-2 enzyme: It must be highly expressed in precancer or cancer cells and not in others; blocking it isn't toxic and doesn't disrupt normal func

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Lasker Foundation Honors Five

By | September 30, 2002

Photos: Courtesy of the Lasker Foundation LASKER AWARDEES: Clockwise from top left; Belding H. Scribner, James E.Darnell, James E. Rothman, Willem J. Kolff, Randy W. Shekman Few things are as rewarding as the academic lifestyle, says James E. Darnell Jr., a Rockefeller University researcher whose discoveries span an era of molecular biology. "The only thing I'd rather do is be first baseman for the Yankees, but seriously, I don't know any pursuit that gives you the joy that basic science

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The Key to Translation ...

By | September 30, 2002

Funding for translational research flows from government agencies and through foundations and associations. At meetings around the world, the pleas go out for more researchers to join the field. Yet if you ask 10 researchers to define "translational re-search," you're likely to get 10 different definitions, ranging from "translating a laboratory discovery into a clinical application up to, but not including Phase III clinical trials" to "all research involving human beings." A middle-of-the-ro

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Today's World: Research vs. Security

By | September 30, 2002

Nearly three years ago, the federal government gave Nancy Connell the green light to investigate how people respond to infection by Bacillus anthracis, the bacterial agent that causes anthrax. With $3 million (US) from the Department of Defense, Connell hoped to learn how to detect the bacteria within hours of infection. But thanks to the hurdles put in her path, it took until this past July for Connell to get her hands on the bacterial strain for her study. Today, her team at the Center for B

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Two Weeks in the Pit as Indiana Jones

By | September 30, 2002

Photo: Courtesy of the Mammoth Site A DIG OF MAMMOTH PROPORTIONS: Earthwatch volunteers excavate mammoth fossils displayed in situ at the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, SD. This past summer, I found myself standing in an air-conditioned pit, trowel in hand, digging for mammoth bones, while tourists watched me work from behind a fence. I was helping Larry Agenbroad, whose Mammoth Site project in Hot Springs, SD, is one of the oldest affiliated with the Earthwatch Institute, an organization

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A Question of Clotting

By | September 16, 2002

Image: Courtesy of Barry R. Lentz  LOVING WATER AND OIL: The illustration shows a full length phosphatidylserine molecule of the sort that would occur in a platelet membrane. The molecule has a water-loving "head" end (left end with several red balls in the figure) and an oil-loving "tail" end that holds it in the membrane. The researchers used a molecule with the tail end shortened to about a third of its physiological length so that the whole molecule remains in solution instead of formi

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All Things Unequal, In Pay

By | September 16, 2002

Women still earn slightly less than men do in the life sciences, though the difference narrows as both advance in their fields, according to a salary survey conducted by Abbott, Langer & Associates and sponsored by The Scientist and the American Institute of Biological Sciences. Midcareer female scientists in the United States, who have worked for five to nine years since obtaining their PhDs, earn a median income of $55,000 (US), roughly 92% of the $60,000 their male colleagues earn. Wom

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