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Mendel and More

By | July 8, 2002

Photo: Courtesy of M. Matsuoka, Reprinted with permission from Nature ©2001 A COMPARISON: The effect of a mutant gibberellin-biosynthesis gene is shown in rice plants; on the left, wild type; on the right, IR8 (sd1). During the summer of 1997, two research groups succeeded in bringing closure to a classic tale in genetics. After 131 years, they identified one of Mendel's pea genes at the molecular level. The gene, called Le, controls stem length--plants with defective copies are sho

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Science and Homeland Security

By | July 8, 2002

Image: Anthony Canamucio Even as a furor arose recently in the US Congress over failures to communicate between intelligence agencies that contributed to America's unreadiness for the terrorist attacks last September, President George W. Bush's proposal to create a Department of Homeland Security was being concocted in extreme secrecy. This left many government officials in an awkward position: having staunchly defended the administration's opposition to the idea of a new department, they were

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Image: Courtesy of the CDC THE FACE OF SMALLPOX US citizens will not be lining up for smallpox vaccinations anytime soon, despite months of news reports on the stockpiling of enough vaccine for every man, woman, and child. On June 20, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), after evaluating information provided at public forums in New York City, San Francisco, St. Louis, and San Antonio, recommended to Tommy Thompson, secret

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Ellen Vitetta

By | June 24, 2002

When Ellen Vitetta launched into the fifth Charlotte Friend Memorial Lecture on April 6 at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting in San Francisco, the audience, expecting the tale of an immunotoxin's journey from bench to bedside, instead saw a hilarious presentation contrasting the male and female human brain. With huge distinctions in skills allocation, such as sex lobe vs. sex particle and commitment lobe vs. commitment neuron, the two displayed brains were equal for ski

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Film Fest Fetes Science

By | June 24, 2002

Volume 16 | Issue 13 | 18 | Jun. 24, 2002 Previous | Next Film Fest Fetes Science At Issue: How do you communicate science without dumbing it down? | By Barry A. Palevitz Image: Erica P. Johnson It's getting to be an old story: the National Science Board recently concluded, "Science literacy in the U.S. is fairly low." Moreover, said the board, "most Americans are unfamiliar with the scientifi

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Frontlines

By | June 24, 2002

When researchers consider disease model options, cows generally remain in the pasture. But a bovine tuberculosis epidemic in the United Kingdom has made the grazers invaluable, not only for studying ways to stymie Mycobacterium bovis, the bovine version of the tubercle bacilli that causes disease, but the human version, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, as well. At the Fourth World Congress on Tuberculosis, held recently in Washington, DC, tuberculosis (TB) investigator Glyn Hewinson, Department of Ba

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Psst! Gene Therapy Research Lives

By | June 24, 2002

Volume 16 | Issue 13 | 12 | Jun. 24, 2002 Previous | Next Psst! Gene Therapy Research Lives COVER STORY | Progress registers experiment by experiment, trial by trial | By Josh P. Roberts Image: Getty Images In 1990, three men--W. French Anderson, R. Michael Blaese, and Kenneth Culver--led a trial in which the genetically corrected adenosine deaminase (ADA) T cells, belonging to a 4-year-old gir

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Science in the Make-up Chair

By | June 24, 2002

Volume 16 | Issue 13 | 20 | Jun. 24, 2002 Previous | Next Science in the Make-up Chair Scientists, seeking more active roles as film consultants, try not to get 'sandwiched by the script' | By Hal Cohen Image: Erica P. Johnson Ever try to get bitten by a radioactive spider to acquire web-slinging powers in your wrists? Baffled as to the lack of matter transporters for sale on the market? Think

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The Leprosy Watcher

By | June 24, 2002

Volume 16 | Issue 13 | 15 | Jun. 24, 2002 Previous | Next The Leprosy Watcher Armed with recent genomics data, Bill Levis ponders leprosy's immunological fork in the road--and awaits a government decision regarding his own career | By Tom Hollon Graphic: Marlene J. Viola Patients come to him by referral, dreading what they may hear after being poked and palpated and scrutinized by one puzzled

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Bioterror in the Realm of Make-Believe

By | June 10, 2002

Can the United States cope with biological terrorism? The anthrax deaths have invested this question with new urgency, eliciting many opinions at the Pentagon and in Washington's think tanks. But the dubious benefit of prior experience on which to base those opinions is scarce. One way to get the experience is by the technological play-acting known as simulation. The US Army has used virtual reality simulations for combat training since the late 1980s. Trainees are placed inside a module, three

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